Mom Sues After Losing Job for Pregnancy Bathroom Breaks
One of the things I hate about being pregnant is my need for a million bathroom breaks during the day.
Even when I'm not pregnant, I chug water like it's going out of style, so when I'm pregnant, it's on a whole ‘nother level. I feel like my entire day is spent bursting out of my skin to get to the bathroom, and even short errands become torture because I literally can not go more than 30 minutes without peeing.
But while my pregnancy-induced bathroom break mania is an inconvenience, I certainly never would have thought that it could be anything more than that. And certainly not a grounds for getting fired.
Dawn Steckmann is a mom who knows what it's like to be bound by her bladder.
When she became pregnant with her first child, she checked with her company, Maxim Integrated Products, on the rules concerning bathroom breaks for hourly workers — did she have to clock out every time nature called?
The company assured her that she did not, showing some basic common sense for a condition that essentially keeps mankind going. And if you think Dawn is silly for even worrying about such a thing, allow me to assure you that she most definitely is not. I've worked the majority of my adult life as a registered nurse, a clock-in-and-clock-out job that is scrutinized down to the very minute. We are chided and written up for the smallest of infractions when it comes to the time clock, from everything to punching in too soon to clocking out too late. In jobs like mine and Dawn's, minutes matter.
And in Dawn's case, it was those minutes that came into play when, in 2013, she became pregnant again. Due to a bladder injury sustained during her first pregnancy, she frequented the bathroom even more this time around, and apparently, her employers took notice.
According to the lawsuit that Dawn later filed, reported by The Oregonian, she was reprimanded for not clocking out and then fired. The paper said, “She claims the HR manager said that she could have been watching movies during her frequent breaks, and that her supervisor equated her bathroom behavior to stealing because ‘not clocking out to use the restroom is stealing from the company.' “
It makes sense, right? I mean, everyone knows that pregnant women totally fake having to pee just so they can sneak to the bathroom and watch movies on the toilet! The world is on to us!
Dawn is suing, as she should, for $406,000 and to get her job back, working as a fabrication technician for $18.76 an hour.
What do you think? Is Dawn due her money?