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Pregnant Woman Fired After Asking for Maternity Leave

Photograph by Twenty20

A pregnant woman in Washington was fired after asking for maternity leave, and the whole situation has people fuming.

Kameisha Denton, who is due in December, recently asked her manager at Jersey Mike's Sub Shop in Marysville for maternity leave. She told KIRO-TV that after she put in her request, she didn't see herself slated for shifts, so she sent him messages on Tuesday asking for an updated schedule.

Denton posted the manager's text-message responses on her Facebook page:

Photograph by Facebook

Yeah, you read that right. The guy just fired her over text for being pregnant. First of all, that's against the law. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, passed in 1978, makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against pregnant women in the workplace. She also isn't even due for months. Even then, did he expect her to have a baby and immediately return for a shift, even though women may need a whole year to recover from childbirth? OK, a one-year maternity leave is virtually unheard of in the U.S., where federal maternity leave policies require only 12 weeks of unpaid leave (and even then, it doesn't cover everyone). But women CAN NOT be fired for being pregnant.

The manager also had the gall to guilt Denton about not informing him about her pregnancy during her interview. The way he responded is exactly why many women refrain from talking about pregnancy and asking about maternity leave policies during job interviews.

By the way, under Washington state law, it's "unfair practice" for an employer to refuse to hire, promote, terminate or demote a woman because of pregnancy or childbirth.

"I was just, like, in shock. It took me a minute to face reality. I was like, this is really happening," Denton told KIRO-TV.

Restaurant owner Tim Trieb has since apologized and offered Denton her job back, adding that the situation should have never happened. He said the manager resigned Wednesday because of the incident.

As for Denton, she declined the offer to return to Jersey Mike's Sub Shop, but has received several job offers since her story went viral.

We hope she finds a more supportive environment for her and her baby-to-be.

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