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Pregnant Woman Gets Fired for Taking Too Many Bathroom Breaks

by Mary Fischer on December 10, 2012 at 12:15 PM

baby bumpOut of all the reasons to potentially lose your job, I'm sure you never thought going to the bathroom would get you canned, right? (No pun intended on the can thing.)

Well, that's exactly what happened to one pregnant woman in Kansas City. April Roller was fired because she took too many bathroom breaks -- even though any employer with half a brain should know that pregnant women have to pee pretty much every 10 minutes or so. (Or at least I went about that often.)

Get this one -- the company apparently considers bathroom breaks to be a "privilege," and they didn't think it was fair to April's co-workers that she got to use the facilities more often than they did. (Somehow I'm guessing they weren't as bothered by it.)

And it wasn't just the peeing that got on her employer's nerves, because April was also given her very own trash can to keep under her desk for sudden bouts of morning sickness. (WTF?)

Not surprisingly, she's suing the call center she worked at for unlawful termination. If there is any justice in this world, the judge will rule in her favor and give her a fat wad of money so she can sit at home and use her own bathroom as often as she damn well pleases in the future. 

I mean, can you even believe this case actually exists? You have to be pretty ballsy to tell a pregnant woman when she can and can't pee, and where and when she's permitted to puke. (It's a good thing Kate Middleton doesn't work there.)

I've always been a pretty frequent "pee-er" as it is, but when I was pregnant with my son, trips to the bathroom were definitely made a few times each hour. It didn't even matter how much or how little I'd had to drink at any given point during the day -- I had to pee ALL THE TIME.

I was up and down from my desk and running down the hall to the ladies room all day every day, and not once did my employer say one word to me about it. And if they had? Well, I'm sure I would've dropped a few choice terms in their direction before bursting into tears in the hopes of squeezing a little bit of sympathy out of them.

And if I'd been fired for peeing? Yeah, I'd have filed a lawsuit too, and I probably would've kicked things up a notch and gotten some sort of written statement from a judge saying my next employer had to provide me with my own, private bathroom. (Ok, not really. But wouldn't that be cool?)

It's just so sad that some companies haven't figured out that when you are pregnant, there are bodily functions you really can't control, and that they need to cut their expectant workers a little slack. Is that really too much to ask?

Has your employer given you a hard time about bathroom breaks during your pregnancy?

 

Image via cscott2006/Flickr

Filed Under: pregnancy symptoms

Comments

50
  • Chris...
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Christine

    December 10, 2012 at 12:24 PM
    Will they fire a man if he has prostrate issues, because that makes a man go to the bathroom a lot. I have worked in a call center and have worked with pregnant women and no one has had an issue when a person has to go to the bathroom. As long as their is phone coverage it's not a big deal. Wow this employer has no common sense.
  • three...
    --

    threeforme157

    December 10, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    Since this was a call center she was probably missing half of the incoming calls that the other people were covering.  Still, it it not fair but probably not a great job anyway.  I am sure her boss who fired her was male.


  • AdryF
    --

    AdryF

    December 10, 2012 at 12:38 PM
    YEP, With my first pregnancy I was working at a fast food place. My manager got angry about how much I was peeing and going to the bathroom to vomit. I asked to be moved out of the window where it was the hottest and she wouldn't let me. Instead she told me that if pregnancy was this hard on me I shouldn't have anymore children. Yeah, needless to say I didn't work there much longer. Lol
  • abra819
    --

    abra819

    December 10, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    I hear a lawsuit coming.....hell, I would even consider talking to a lawyer for this. It's just not right.


  • MammaMel
    -- Nonmember comment from

    MammaMel

    December 10, 2012 at 12:59 PM
    Not surprised! I worked retail when I was pregnant. My PREGNANT lead told me that I was only permitted to go during breaks and lunch (15 minutes every 4 hours and one 30 minute lunch)...but yet she went ALL THE TIME! Luckily my manager was understanding, and I was REALLY good when I wasn't peeing all the time. I'm surprised though that there aren't LAWS to cover this kind of stuff.
  • Jessy...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Jessy Roos

    December 10, 2012 at 1:05 PM
    What ever happened to reasonable accommodation? I'm pretty sure that allowing a pregnant woman more frequent trips to the bathroom falls under that heading.
    Sometimes I am so glad that I am a woman of child bearing age in Canada. There is just so much more protection available to us here, not to mention paid maternity leave and the likes.
    My heart goes out to this woman. I truly hope she finds some vindication in court.
  • miche...
    --

    micheledo

    December 10, 2012 at 1:19 PM
    Wonder if they allow smoke breaks?
  • melmcl
    -- Nonmember comment from

    melmcl

    December 10, 2012 at 1:20 PM
    Yes they did give me a hard time! I had SURGERY for bladder CANCER in my 6th month. I was told to pee as many times as I could. My supervisor *had* to talk to me about going to often. I called my doctor in tears! I didn't want an infection let alone what the surgery did to my bladder (look up bladder spasms - yeah, not too nice). My doctor basically told my sup. that she will bring the wrath of OSHA upon them if they even breath another word to me about limiting my breaks. However, with an employer that will tell single mom's with children in the hospital that they better get back to work if they want to keep their jobs, I wasn't surprised. Menard's business office is an absolute bastard when it comes to basic human rights in the workplace. They even told me that when I was on my break, I couldn't put my feet up anywhere inside. If I needed to do that, I could walk out to my car - but I couldn't drive due to my extreme morning sickness (yes, just like the princess) and didn't have one on site. Plus, I was the top data entry girls and they gave me a ton of extra accounts to take care of, but the 2' pile of filing that needed to be done per day was too heavy for me to lift - guess what they said, "Make 2 trips, but don't take any extra time." Thank God I never went back.
  • Flori...
    --

    Floridamom96

    December 10, 2012 at 2:04 PM
    Whoa. We have one side of the story in the form of a lawsuit. Not enough information is available for me to automatically condemn this company.
  • jessa...
    --

    jessasmamma

    December 10, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    call center's are HORRIBLE. i worked for a popular national bank last year in their call center, and i got sick. i didn't even know i had any type of infection until i blacked out in the bathroom after walking into work that morning. i had barely any cell service but i was able to text a co-worker. my co-worker came right over to me and immediately went and got our supervisor. i was perfectly fine when i woke that morning but suddenly was in SO much pain!! my supervisor called an ambulance... and then while sitting with me and waiting for the ambulance, asked if i thought i would be back by my lunch break to finish the work day. REALLY?!?! 

    when i got to the hospital i found out i had a kidney infection that had spread to my liver. i was in and out of the hospital for WEEKS. my employer FIRED me and then proceeded to harass me for the next 12 days by calling me 3-10 times a day, asking me to return their $20 headset. i wanted to take them to court so bad. NOT for money, but to make the company change their policies and actually start respecting their employees, but i just didn't see it happening :( 


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