Urban Outfitters was recently hit with a lawsuit over allegations of pregnancy discrimination.
Earlier this week, Urban Outfitters was hit with a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit. The suit was filed by Anna DeMarco in federal court over allegations that the retailer fired her shortly after she announced that “she was trying to get pregnant with her second child.”
According to the suit, DeMarco began her job with Urban Outfitters back in 2009 in the accounts payable department. For many years, she could work from home and “consistently received good reviews in the “meets expectations or exceeds expectations realm.” Then she got pregnant with her first child in 2016 and all that changed. According to DeMarco, when she revealed her pregnancy, her senior manager allegedly “made derogatory comments to her about her pregnancy, including the following: Whenever women come back from maternity leave, their priorities seem to be at home. They can’t wait until 5:00 P.M. to get out the door.”
To make matters worse, DeMarco alleges in her suit that management told her she “could no longer work from home, even though employees in similar positions who were not pregnant were allowed to telecommute.” The suit also notes that, around the same time, another employee DeMarco knew was going through a difficult pregnancy and “noted the difficulties in conversation with her direct supervisor, also a woman.” Her supervisor allegedly replied, “She asked for it…You know how [the senior manager] feels about us having babies.”
When her child was born later in August 2016, DeMarco went out on maternity leave and when she returned in October, “the senior manager stripped her of many of her job duties, giving 50 percent of those duties to another woman in the department who was not a mother and … did not have any family responsibilities,” according to the suit.
When DeMarco discovered the change, she confronted the senior manager and asked why the changes had been made to her position. According to the suit, the senior manager allegedly said:
“These types of duties require a lot of attention, and I’m not sure if your head is in the right place for that since your priorities are in other places. I don’t know if someone in your situation can handle it.”
Then, in 2018, DeMarco informed her immediate supervisor that she had to “make an appointment with a specialist for some medical tests that her doctor advised her to take before getting pregnant again.” Her supervisor then asked her if she was planning to get pregnant again, to which DeMarco said yes. Less than a month later and Urban Outfitters fired her. When she was terminated she was allegedly told that “her job title was being eliminated but that when she asked why she was given no answer.” The suit also notes that when she was fired, “her job responsibilities were then divided between less experienced employees who had no family responsibilities.” As a result, her suit alleges the retailer violated federal and state law by discriminating against her “because she is a woman and a mother.”
When asked about the lawsuit, a spokesperson with Urban Outfitters said, “URBN does not tolerate discrimination of any sort, and we actively support and accommodate our pregnant employees.”