A class-action discrimination lawsuit was filed against home retailer Pier 1 Imports, Inc. on Wednesday in Santa Clara County Superior Court. The suit alleges that Pier 1 is inherently discriminatory in their leave policies towards pregnant employees.
Kimberly Erin Caselman is at the head of this lawsuit. She is a Pier 1 sales associate in San Jose who is expecting her second child. She informed her boss last fall that she was 2 months pregnant, and on the recommendation of her obstetrician, Caselman was placed on “light duty.” She could not lift objects heavier than 15 pounds or climb ladders
When the eight weeks of light-duty came a close, Caselman asked her employer for an extension for light duty. Pier 1 refused. Instead, as per policy, once the light-duty ran out, she was placed on unpaid medical leave which constituted her maternity leave. The issue at hand here was that since Pier 1 put Caselman on maternity leave when she was only 4 months pregnant, her leave would end before she even had her child.
Therefore, Caselman was expected back at work in May of this year. The baby is not due until July 7th. Casselman’s attorneys assert that if the light-duty accommodation was extended, then Caselman would be able to go out on leave in a timely manner. But now, Caselman is afraid she will be fired if she does not go back in May, even though she will be at the height of her pregnancy.
In California, there are certain safeguards put in place to prevent discrimination against pregnant employees in the workforce. If you feel you have been subjected to discrimination, contact an Aegis attorney.
Source: Los Angeles Times