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Google case puts continuing spotlight on pregnancy discrimination

| Apr 19, 2021 | Workplace Discrimination |

A former Google employee continues her three-year battle with the tech giant over allegations of pregnancy discrimination as her lawsuit against the company is slated to go to court in December. The story of Chelsey Glasson highlights the challenges women face when filing complaints against unsympathetic employers, especially those with deep pockets such as Google. It is also the story of perseverance in the face of extreme challenges.

Glasson stood up for a victim of pregnancy discrimination at her workplace and then became a victim of the same discrimination when she became pregnant. She filed the lawsuit in 2020, but the trouble began two years earlier when she alleged that Google retaliated against her for complaining about a pregnant colleague’s mistreatment. In support of all women subjected to such ill treatment by employers, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy regarding all employment aspects, including pay, work assignments, training, insurance, hiring, firing and layoffs.

Federal law on your side

Glasson’s case has origins in 2018. Soon after filing a complaint with human resources about her colleague’s pregnancy discrimination, Glasson was harassed by a director who took steps to replace her. Glasson claimed HR was aware of the retaliation but took no action.

Then, in 2019, upon discovering she was pregnant, Glasson sought to transfer to another department to avoid further harassment. However, her new superior was unsympathetic and declining to let her fulfill her new management duties.

And although Glasson’s doctor ordered her on bed rest during the pregnancy, she alleged that her manager encouraged her to continue to work. Only days after Glasson gave birth, Google asked her to leave the company.

In 2019, more than a year after she filed a complaint regarding her colleague’s pregnancy discrimination, Grossman noted that Google sent her a one-paragraph email declaring that no evidence existed of pregnancy discrimination. That is when she decided to sue.

Even with federal law in place, pregnancy discrimination cases continue to happen. If you are the victim of such workplace discrimination and retaliation, promptly act to protect yourself and other women facing the same demeaning and disrespectful treatment.

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