Woman Claims She Was Fired For Being Pregnant
By David Begnaud
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) ―
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Cristina Porter said she was fired from her job as events coordinator because she was pregnant.
A local woman has filed a lawsuit against her former employer, claiming she was punished and let go because she was pregnant, but the company’s attorneys are denying the allegations.
Cristina Porter, 24, has worked for Scott’s Seafood since she was 17 and was employed last year as the events coordinator at the restaurant’s Sacramento location. When she passed out at work one day in 2009, she found out she was pregnant.
Porter alleges she told a supervisor about the pregnancy and asked he “keep the information private,” according to the lawsuit.
“He asked some questions about my personal life, about the relationship that I had with my child’s father and suggested that I have an abortion,” Porter said.
The pregnancy wasn’t planned, but Cristina said abortion wasn’t an option for her.
“He told former customers of mine and employees that I was getting an abortion,” she said.
When Porter asked about her health care coverage, she alleges someone in the company’s administration said she was “making a big mistake keeping the baby.”
One month after revealing her pregnancy, Porter says she was written up.
“My client didn’t meet the food and beverage minimum that they signed off on and I got written up for that,” she said.
Five months later, she called in sick after being diagnosed with “a viral infection and dislocated rib,” according to the lawsuit. Two days later, Porter said she was fired.
“I don’t see a reason why I was let go, especially the state of pregnancy I was in,” she said. “I mean, I was a first-time mom. I needed the income.”
In an e-mail to CBS13, the attorney for Scott’s Seafood said Porter’s allegations are false.
“Ms. Porter was laid off, along with several other employees, solely due to the economic downturn that has affected so many Sacramento businesses. Her pregnancy had nothing to do with the decision to lay her off,” the e-mail stated.
Porter’s lawyer, Lawrence Bohm, accused the restaurant of punishing her because of her lifestyle choices.
“It’s not okay to be harassed and told that you’re making a wrong decision for choosing to keep your child,” Bohm said.
The lawyer for Scott’s Seafood said the company has never been accused of pregnancy discrimination before Porter’s complaint.
Bohm said he isn’t looking for a settlement for the case; he wants a jury to hear Porter’s claims.