Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit Against Simon Property Group Filed As A Result of Management’s Conduct at Stanford Shopping Center .
Online PR News – 18-
February-2011 -San Francisco, CA — A lawsuit alleging pregnancy and sexual discrimination along with wrongful termination has been filed against Simon Property Group, Inc. (SPG) (Santa Clara County Superior Court, Case #111CV194632) by San Francisco employment law attorney Kelly Armstrong on behalf of her client, Angelina Duran. Duran worked for the onsite Stanford Shopping Center mall management team for SPG which according to their website ( http://www.simon.com/) is an S&P 500 company and the largest real estate company in the U.S. SPG, according to the site, currently owns or has an interest in 393 properties including the Stanford Shopping Center.
In the lawsuit, Duran claims that during the first nine months of her employment and prior to announcing her pregnancy, she was frequently praised for her excellent work performance by both the Director of Marketing and the Stanford Shopping Center mall manager.
On or about August 3 of 2009, Duran says that she informed her boss that she was pregnant. The complaint states that Duran was immediately told to deal with her personal issues by taking medical leave through the state of California disability insurance program. Even though Duran told her employer that she wished to continue working and did not require any additional time-off beyond scheduled doctor visits the Stanford Shopping Center management team began creating a hostile work environment and threatened Duran with the loss of her medical benefits.
When Duran went on approved maternity leave she took a leave of absence under the company’s disability leave policy and an additional six weeks under The Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In California, an employee can take up to four months of protected leave for the birth of a child. Just five days before she was scheduled to return back to work, Duran was informed that she was fired from her position at the Stanford Shopping Center and that someone else had been hired to replace her. Simon Property Group told Duran that she should have received a letter confirming her return to work date, which she did not. Duran was also told that she terminated because she did not return to work, but their statement is pretext for pregnancy discrimination because Duran emailed them her return to work date. Duran has a copy of the email submitted to multiple Simon Property Group management and human resources employees. California also requires employers to return an employee who takes leave under the act to the same or comparable position at the conclusion of the employee’s leave.
Attorney Kelly Armstrong says, “Title VII protects every woman’s right to be free from pregnancy discrimination. Discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions constitutes unlawful sex discrimination under Title VII which covers employers with 15 or more employees, including state and local governments.”
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the number of pregnancy discrimination claims has climbed nearly 30 percent since 2005.
“Pregnancy discrimination is a growing problem in this country. Pregnancy discrimination affects a range of women, from those in entry-level jobs as well as those in executive positions. No woman should lose her job simply because she decided to have a child,” said Armstrong. Discrimination based on family responsibilities also affects a wide-range of Fortune 500 companies throughout the United States. “In this case we have an Indiana-based company that discriminated against a woman simply because she was pregnant and took pregnancy leave. In California, the law protects pregnant women who go on leave from their jobs,” added Armstrong.
The Armstrong Law Firm can provide pregnancy discrimination victims with the Top Ten Steps for what to do if it appears a female employee’s employer is trying to discriminate against them One step that can be taken is to send the employer an email stating that the employee thinks the employer is treating them differently because they are pregnant. This action can provide the basis for a future retaliation claim if the employer terminates the pregnant employee. Another step is for the pregnant employee to consult with an attorney to understand their rights because there are multiple overlapping pregnancy discrimination and leave laws. The Armstrong Law Firm can be contacted at (415) 909-3945 and www.thearmstronglawfirm.com for additional information