ALEXANDRIA, La. – Walgreens is facing a federal lawsuit after a store manager in Louisiana refused to let a pregnant worker leave and visit her doctor after she began spotting blood.
According to a news release from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the worker for the store in Alexandria was told the woman, identified as Jane Doe, “already asked for too many accommodations” and resigned from her job after heeding her doctor’s advice, according to a complaint filed by the agency on Wednesday.
The woman, who also has diabetes and hypoglycemia, had a miscarriage later that day, according to the EEOC complaint.
In its lawsuit, the agency said that Walgreens had violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the news release stated.
“No one should have to choose between losing a pregnancy and losing a job,” Andrew Kingsley, a senior trial attorney in the EEOC’s New Orleans field office, said in a statement.
Walgreens spokesperson Fraser Engerman declined a request for comment from McClatchy News on Thursday, according to the Miami Herald.
The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana after first trying to reach a pre-litigation settlement, the agency said in its news release.
According to the complaint, the pregnant worker went to a bathroom in the store on Dec. 2, 2020, and saw she was spotting blood, the Herald reported. The woman notified her “shift lead” that she was ill and needed to leave, the complaint stated.
However, the co-worker told the woman to stay until the store manager arrived.
The complaint stated that the manager denied the woman’s request until a replacement could be found.
The EEOC is seeking to provide back pay to the woman and reinstatement to her former job along with “front pay,” according to the lawsuit.
“Employers must do all they can to ensure pregnant workers are afforded equal employment opportunities,” Uma Kandan, the head of the EEOC’s New Orleans field office, said in a statement.
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