Woman Says She Was Fired for Being Pregnant ... By Her Boss Who's a Woman

tabitha handyTabitha Hardy was a manager in training at a Dallas-area Waffle House when she became pregnant. How did her employers respond when she informed them of her exciting family news? Oh, you know ... pretty much the worst way an employer can.

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First, Hardy alleges, her manager Karen Whiting said, "You're pregnant again? Don't you already have three kids?" (Seriously?!?) Then, when Hardy tried to assure her employers that her pregnancy wouldn't impact her work, management said they thought she would "move too slow" and wouldn't be able to handle her job.

And then things got worse. Hardy had a history of consistently positive reviews, but that changed. She claims her boss began fabricating falsehoods about her performance until she was fired. "We don't need you here at Waffle House anymore," she alleges Whiting told her.

So that was a big mistake. Now Hardy is naming her former boss in a lawsuit against Waffle House.

Why is this still even happening? Have people not gotten the memo that firing people because they're pregnant is considered discrimination? And that attempts to disguise that discrimination through lies almost always backfire?

According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, complaints over pregnancy-related discrimination have been rising for over a decade. That's for several different reasons ranging from more women being in the workplace to more women being educated about their rights. Pregnancy discrimination complaints are most common in female-dominated fields. So just because you have a female boss doesn't mean you'll avoid such discrimination.

Which brings us to the Waffle House lawsuit. It's disappointing to find out that Hardy's boss was another woman. You would think she would be more supportive and understanding. But not so! 

We don't know if Whiting has ever had children herself, and was projecting her own experiences on Hardy. Maybe she'd seen other employees use pregnancy as an excuse to slack off on the job. It doesn't matter what she's experienced in the past, though. Every pregnant woman has the right to prove she can still perform her job.

Handy is hoping her case will inspire other women in similar situations to stand up for themselves. "Don't be afraid and don't be ashamed," she tells NBC 5. "If you're going through a situation like that, you hire an attorney and you fight back."

Do you know anyone who has been fired or discriminated against because of her pregnancy?

 

Image via NBC 5

 

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