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Bias case of worker fired after abortion can proceed: Court

Bias case of worker fired after abortion can proceed: Court

A federal court has refused to dismiss a discrimination case filed by a bank teller who was allegedly fired because she had an abortion.

Elena DeJesus, who started her position as a bank teller for Florida Central Credit Union in Clearwater, Florida, on Nov. 1, 2016, discovered the next day she was pregnant and informed her supervisor, according to the Oct. 11 ruling by the U.S. District Court in Tampa, Florida, in Elena DeJesus v. Florida Central Credit Union, which was just publicized.

Ms. DeJesus’ supervisor approved her taking time off for an abortion, which was performed on Nov. 10, 2016, according to the ruling. On Nov. 16, her supervisor and another supervisor from the Florida Credit Union’s Tampa branch conducted a two-week performance evaluation of Ms. DeJesus and found no disciplinary issues.

But the branch manager then notified her she was being terminated for her absence from work the day of the abortion because “the medical procedure was not an appropriate excuse for her absence,” according to the ruling.

Ms. DeJesus filed suit against the credit union in the District Court, charging wrongful termination

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, forbids discrimination on the basis of “pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions,” said the ruling.

“DeJesus alleged that she is a member of a protected class based on her sex and her pregnancy, that she was qualified for her position based on her outstanding performance evaluation, and that she was terminated for her preapproved absence to have a medical procedure to terminate her pregnancy. Based on her allegations, DeJesus has pleaded enough factual matter to survive dismissal,” said the ruling, in refusing the credit union’s motion to dismiss her complaint.

Last week, a nursing home operator agreed to pay $465,000 to settle a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission pregnancy and disability discrimination lawsuit. 



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