One of the side effects most women face when they become pregnant is nausea. Although nausea may be overwhelming at times, the symptom often comes and goes, and the time a woman needs to recover from nausea should not result in a wrongful termination. A woman working outside of Florida alleges she was terminated due to the symptoms of her pregnancy and has filed a complaint in a federal court.
The plaintiff worked as a charge nurse at a nursing home and was responsible for supervising other employees and tending to the needs of patients who required around-the-clock care. She allegedly worked many long hours, including 16-hour shifts. After one of her eight-hour shifts, the plaintiff felt nauseated and was unable to continue working her second eight hour schedule shift. Another nurse suggested that she go home to rest before trying to finish her shift, so the plaintiff claims she left her phone number and heeded her co-worker's suggestion.
The woman was only gone for a little over an hour when she returned to work, but she claims she was met by her manager who said that she did not leave a way to contact her. She spoke with the director of nursing, explaining what had happened, but she was ultimately placed on a one-day suspension. On one of the plaintiff's overnight shifts she was busy and opted to skip her lunch; however, a few hours later, she had a fever and felt nauseated, so she decided to take a 15-minute break in a room from which she could still see to the needs of her patients. She claims that a social worker reported her for falling asleep, and, after trying to explain the accusations were false, she was fired.
The plaintiff believes the person who reported her was trying to get her fired and saw her rest as an opportunity. Additionally, the plaintiff claims that non-minority workers were not targeted with similar accusations, and she has included ethnicity and race discrimination in her complaint. In her complaint, she is asking to be restored to her former position, as well as be awarded her lost income and other financial relief. A Florida woman should never have to choose between her pregnancy and her job, and those who feel they have been victimized can hold their employers accountable.
Source: mlive.com, "Nurse sues for pregnancy discrimination, says nausea breaks led to firing", John Agar, Oct. 16, 2015