A woman is suing her employer for causing the death of her baby -- because the chain grocery store wouldn't cut her some slack on her duties. The woman, Reyna Garcia, says she had a high risk pregnancy and proved it with three separate doctors' notes that stipulated she shouldn't lift over 15 pounds, but that her employers kept insisting she do her job as manager, which required heavy lifting. When she miscarried the baby after 20 weeks, she blamed the store.
The chain, Albertsons, denies the charges and says it always works with "pregnancy-related disabilities" -- but the question remains, should an employer accommodate an employee to the point of that employee not really being able to do her regular duties because of pregnancy?
I side with the mom on this one. After all, women aren't pregnant that long. Is there really no way that this woman could have continued her job but left the heavy lifting to someone else?
I sympathize with employers too -- they do have to have employees doing their jobs. And, ladies, we don't want to get to the point where employers are unwilling to hire us because of the possibility of future pregnancies. But it just seems like a little more humanity might have worked wonders here.
For instance, Garcia says that she began suffering "pelvic pressure" one day and asked to be let off early. But she claims the employer denied her this because it was expecting a visit from corporate. Later that night, she miscarried. Could they really have found no way to let the woman off work a bit early?
True, we don't like to think of pregnancy as a disability -- but sometimes it is. Especially a high risk pregnancy. Especially one with complications. If an employee broke her foot, chances are the employer would be understanding about it. Why not with pregnancy?
Women don't really have much of a choice if they want a family. The man can't give birth and we have yet to invent robots that can do it for us. That leaves women at a distinct disadvantage in the workplace. And yet many women, if not most, must work to provide for their families. That's just reality. Accommodations should be made if possible. Now if a woman starts seriously taking advantage of that -- and using the pregnancy to basically do nothing -- then her employment should be reconsidered.
But three doctors' notes seems like enough evidence to prove that this woman needed a little compassion.
Do you think pregnancy should be treated like a disability? Should women be given special treatment in the workplace?
Image via AaronMcIntyrePhotography/Flickr