NASTY GAL Accused of Purposely Firing Pregnant Employees
The lawsuit filed by Concepcion on March 10th at Los Angeles Superior Court accuses Nasty Gal of illegally firing four pregnant women and one man who was about to take paternity leave. The lawsuit claims the company systematically terminates pregnant employees without offering them four months unpaid leave, which is required by California law.
According to Concepcion, when she found out she was pregnant in February 2014, she informed her supervisor Camilla Whitman, who reportedly did not seem pleased with the news. Shortly afterward Whitman told Concepcion that Nasty Gal would not have to give her maternity leave as she would have been an employee for nine months on her due date. An HR manager at the company told Concepcion that she would receive six weeks leave if her birth was natural, and eight weeks leave if she required a C-section.
In June of that year, Nasty Gal approved to take on a temporary replacement for Concepcion but two months later she was dismissed along with other employees as the company was ‘reassessing their budgets’. This process was part of a larger round of lay-offs carried out last year, resulting in ten percent of the workforce being cut.
The file claims that Concepcion was terminated for none-related performance reasons, as she had received ‘stellar reviews’ for her work earlier in the year. Concepcion was told that she could keep on working until the birth and would be given health care coverage through December 2014 if she signed a severance agreement which waived her right to sue. As she didn’t sign the agreement, she was left uninsured and without COBRA coverage.
Aimee Concepcion is currently seeking unspecified damages for sex discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, wrongful termination, breach of contract amongst other claims. A spokesperson for Nasty Gal said ‘the accusations made in the lawsuits are false, defamatory and taken completely out of context. The layoffs in question were part of a larger restructuring of departments we completed nine months ago. The lawsuits are frivolous and without merit.’
By Chandler Tregaskes