Seven former Amazon workers filed lawsuits in the last four years alleging that the company fired pregnant warehouse employees for requesting accommodations, according to a new report from CNet.
The lawsuits allege the plaintiffs made various requests for accommodations including fewer continuous hours on their feet and longer bathroom breaks, and that in every case, the women were fired after informing their managers they were pregnant. All the dismissals occurred over the last eight years.
The retail giant settled six of the seven cases out of court, and one is still pending.
In one case, filed in November 2015, Amber Sargent told the company that her doctor had advised her against climbing ladders or lifting anything heavier than 20 pounds. She claims the company put her on a working freeze and did not pay her for over a month, according to the report.
When she returned to work in December of that year, she was still required to do everything her doctor had advised against, and she was fired the following month, according to the publication.
Another plaintiff, Trudy Martinez, said she was advised by a doctor to take three days off when she contracted the flu and a doctor told her there were difficulties detecting her baby’s heartbeat, according to her lawsuit. A human resources official allegedly told her the company “does not accept doctor’s notes” and fired her days later, according to the publication.
"Amazon wants to push out as much product as possible," said one of the plaintiffs, Beverly Rosales, who filed her suit in January. "They need as many people that don't need accommodations to work there. They care more about the numbers than their employees."
An Amazon spokeswoman pushed back firmly on the report, telling The Hill: "It is absolutely not true that Amazon would fire any employee for being pregnant; we are an equal opportunity employer."
"We work with our employees to accommodate their medical needs including pregnancy-related needs," the spokeswoman added. "We also support new parents by offering various maternity and parental leave benefits."