Black Women, Funding, Maternal Health

Black Mom Cashes In After She Was Fired For Being ‘Very Hormonal’ During Her Pregnancy

A Minnesota dental clinic must pay a former employee nearly $100K for firing her due to pregnancy discrimination.

A dental clinic in Minnesota has been ordered to pay a former employee after she was wrongfully fired in December 2020 due to her pregnancy. The PL Dental Clinic will pay almost $100,000 to the woman who was expecting twins when she was terminated from her role.

According to CBS News, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights determined that Christina Vescio-Holland was unjustly fired for being “very hormonal” while informing management at the Coon Rapids-based clinic that she would need to begin her parental leave. A discrimination investigation was subsequently enacted, as evidence suggested that Vescio-Holland was solely fired due to her status as a pregnant woman.

Despite PL Dental blaming the termination on a performance issue, the investigation found that the cause was unwarranted. The clinic now owes $97,000 to the mother, equivalent to three years’ salary for her loss. The commissioner at the MDHR, Rebecca Lucero, stated the case was a “critical” reminder of how pregnancy discrimination can still occur despite being unlawful.

“State law has prohibited pregnancy discrimination for decades, and this case is a reminder how critical it is for employers to have supportive policies in place for pregnant employees,” shared Lucero.

The MDHR states that this form of discrimination can happen when an employee denies “temporary reasonable accommodation” to a pregnant employee, as well as refusing to promote a worker solely due to them expecting a child. Despite being prohibited, cases of pregnancy discrimination are found across the United States, with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission receiving over 2,200 reports in 2022.

However, as stated on their website, the governmental agency enforces three federal laws, including Title VII and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, that protect expecting employees and those applying for jobs. With this win, Vescio-Holland wants others in her situation to “keep fighting” when facing unfairness in the workplace,

“I just want people to know that they have options when something like this happens. And don’t give up just because one door closes — keep fighting.”

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