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Workplace discrimination: Pregnant Chipotle worker gets $550,000

Florida women who goes through a pregnancy understand that this condition brings about many changes in their health and bodies that may require certain accommodations in their workplaces. Pregnant workers may find comfort in knowing that they are protected by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for pregnant employees to be the subject of workplace discrimination.

A jury in another state recently awarded $550,000 to a former Chipotle employee. The woman brought the lawsuit against the company, alleging discrimination by the store manager. The plaintiff claimed that the manager started treating her differently as soon as she informed him about her pregnancy.

While other staff members were allowed bathroom breaks at will, the manager apparently told her that she must inform him and all her co-workers whenever she needed to go to the bathroom. It would then be up to him to authorize such a break. The plaintiff further claimed that all her requests for time off for prenatal consultations with her doctor were denied, leaving her with no other option but to go without permission. Court documents indicated that her employment was terminated a day after she did so -- in the presence of all her colleagues.

Workplace discrimination and harassment are unacceptable, and workers are entitled to pursue claims against employers believed to have violated federal and/or state laws. Such claims can be complicated and are best navigated by an experienced Florida employment law attorney. A lawyer can assess the circumstances and proceed in the most appropriate manner to pursue an optimal result, including the recovery of monetary damages incurred.

Source: nymag.com, "Chipotle Discriminated Against Pregnant Employee", Theresa Avila, Aug. 8, 2016

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