Why Justice For One Equals Justice For All

In 2015, Walter Eddings’ mother, a Nuclear Radiation Worker, was fired by IBA Molecular/Zevacor, approximately 7 days after declaring her pregnancy to her employer.

by Vladimire Herard

He survived his mother’s struggle with her pregnancy discrimination and wrongful termination case. And lived to tell about it.

Two years later, her case is not resolved.

So Felicia, 30, a Pharmacist, is taking the fight for her only child, one-year-old Walter Eddings — viral and national.

With the help of friends, she is launching a legal justice campaign and petition for her son — to ensure that other infants and toddlers don’t endure what he did.

Since the launch of the site, Felicia has secured numerous online and written petition signatures for her cause. She has also gained the supports of several politicians, including Senator Oley Larsen.

Felicia added that she may consider creating a foundation for women who have been wrongfully terminated and a human rights site in the future. She hopes to raise at least $180,000 to assist women facing bias. The Justice for Walter campaign will also be a future resource for working mothers who believe they were subject to pregnancy discrimination and wrongful termination.

“We’re launching a Justice for Walter campaign,” Felicia said. “[Look at my baby’s] cute face. This is [what happens] when a woman loses a job while pregnant. Justice for Walter is justice for any child. This baby could be anybody’s baby.”

On Dec. 4, 2015, Felicia was terminated from her Nuclear Pharmacist job by her employer, IBA Molecular, also known as Zevacor, a nuclear medicine company with branches in North America. Without a job, Felicia lost her access to company healthcare benefits.

As a result of losing benefits, she found it hard to secure medical care from an obstetrician/gynecologist until the fifth month of her pregnancy. Her son, Walter Eddings, was later born with disabilities.

She was four-weeks pregnant at the time and declared her pregnancy the previous week to IBA Molecular, as required by law and by the field of nuclear radiation. Although the case has yet to go to court, severl Human Rights organizations have reached out to Felicia in support.

Felicia could not receive sufficient prenatal care. She found it difficult to make ends meet and was forced to pay tens of thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket medical costs. Four months later, Walter was born with cardiac, pulmonary and neurological health complications. Mainly due to a heart condition and nerve damage, he stayed for 23 days in the intensive care unit of a hospital.

Due to her negative experience with IBA Molecular/Zevacor, Felicia now avoids nuclear pharmacist jobs. She feels that the predominantly male management at the Romeoville, Illinois location may have contributed to her termination. “I see them,” she said. “I skip them. I don’t want to get burned twice.

“I see them,” she said. “I skip them.”

 

Felicia’s response is not uncommon. Studies have shown that many people who get fired have little interest in returning to the jobs or fields that they were in previously. A form of trauma occurs, causing many individuals to seek alternative sources of employment.

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What Can Happen After … A Woman Is Fired While Pregnant

by Vladimire Herard

A complaint to the U.S. Justice Department’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the U.S. Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division office may lead to a variety of actions and outcomes for a woman employee after she has been fired during her pregnancy.

To handle pregnancy discrimination complaints, the EEOC and a local Wage and Hour Division office operate under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1964 and 1990, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — well known as ADA, PDA, FMLA and Title VII respectively.

The former agency is charged with investigating pregnancy cases for businesses of 15 or more workers while the latter agency is responsible for probing family and medical leave discrimination complaints for companies of 50 or more employees.

By legal definition, an employer commits pregnancy discrimination against a woman employee when the company treats her unfavorably because of “pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth.”

The PDA outlaws pregnancy discrimination based on any facet of employment, including “hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, such as leave and health insurance, and any other term or condition of employment.”

Actions, Outcomes

Actions and outcomes for filing can vary, ultimately taking the form of “back pay, hiring, promotion, reinstatement, front pay, reasonable accommodation of a woman employee during pregnancy at a worksite and the payment of attorneys’ fees, expert witness fees or court costs.”

Additionally, depending on the strength of her case and if she chooses to sue, a woman employee may be found to be a victim of pregnancy discrimination and be awarded compensatory or punitive damages to be provided by her employer.

Companies are called upon by the EEOC and possibly the Wage and Hour office to work to cease the discriminatory practice, correct any wrongful actions taken against women employees and reduce the odds of recurrence.

The employer may also be required to post notices in the workplace informing other workers, including the disabled, of the violations and their remedies.

Charging Procedures

After a woman employee is fired for being pregnant and if she consults her lawyer, a legal aid society or other authoritative body, she may be urged to file a complaint with the EEOC.

For the complaint, the woman employee will be expected to be factual and to provide as much detail as possible of the discriminatory act against her.
She may or may not approach an attorney for help in filing the complaint, though most lawyers would offer free consultations as many would want to take on the case in court because of the monetary incentives.

She may contact the human resources department of her employer after she has spoken with and possibly filed the complaint with the EEOC and the local Wage and Hour Division office.

If either agency ask her if she has consulted the human resources director, the woman employee may respond that she wanted to ensure a more expedient, more effective method of resolving her dispute before she spoke with him or her.

The woman employee may also approach local legal aid societies or such nonprofits as Advocates for Pregnant Women.

Once filed with the EEOC or the Wage and Hour Division office, the charge may be managed in a number of ways.

Firstly, the EEOC may assign her case immediate investigation if the details point to discrimination.

If there is strong evidence of discrimination, the agency will send a letter of determination to the employer and the woman employee to discuss the facts of the finding.

The EEOC will then start the process of conciliation to devise a remedy with the employer for the discriminatory act against the woman employee.

Again, remedies include “back pay, hiring, promotion, reinstatement, front pay, reasonable accommodation, other actions that will make an individual ‘whole’, attorneys fees, expert witness fees and court costs.”

With a finding of discrimination in a complaint, the EEOC may also determine that compensatory and punitive damages are warranted.

Compensatory damages are meant to make up for actual or future financial losses suffered by the woman employee and for mental distress and inconvenience because of pregnancy discrimination.

Punitive damages are aimed at remedying the woman employee if her employer — except for federal, state or local government employers — acted, by legal definition, with “malice or reckless indifference.”

Under provisions of the ADA, damages may not be provided if an employer can prove that “good faith” efforts were attempted to accommodate the woman employee.

However, if remedies and damages are required, an employer may again have to place notices where they can be seen by all workers in a worksite.

The notices may describe the violations made against the woman employee in question and advise all who view them of their rights under law.

The notices must also state that the woman employee is free from retaliation for seeking legal redress for her grievance.

Finally, the employer is expected to take steps towards righting the wrongs committed against the woman employee.
Workplace managers and supervisors must get to the root of the discriminatory practice, put an end to it and ensure that it will never recur.

If the conciliation succeeds, investigatory procedures are finalized and the need for a court case is eliminated.

Secondly, if the body of evidence is not strong, the complaint may be categorized as fit for follow-up investigation to judge whether or not a violation has taken place.

Thirdly, at any phase of the investigation, the agency may engage the woman employee and her employer, if both are willing to do so, to settle the case.

If neither party is interested, the investigation into the case continues.
Fourthly, as part of the probe, the EEOC may request information, interview company staff, examine documentation and visit the worksite where discrimination occurred.

After the investigation, the agency may speak with the woman employee and the employer about the evidence.

Fifthly, depending on the facts in the case, the EEOC and the Wage and Hour Division office may elect to initiate a confidential mediation process between the employer and woman employee if both parties are interested.

Mediation is provided as an alternative to investigation. This may entail urging the employer to comply with the ADA, PDA, Title VII and FMLA laws and allow the woman employee to keep her job, ensure that she is not fired or retaliated against in any manner, including providing reduced hours, forcing her to work unfavorable shifts or imposing unwanted duties.

If the process fails, the EEOC resumes investigation and the woman employee may file a lawsuit.

Sixthly, at any stage of the investigation, the complaint can be discarded if the EEOC decides that a probe will not result in a finding of a violation of the law.

This can occur at the initial interview phase, possibly with the woman employee, if no evidence is found to back the charge.

Seventhly, with a dismissal, the EEOC issues a notice that grants the woman employee 90 days to sue her employer on her own.

The woman employee can also request such a notice if she does not receive it from the EEOC 180 days after the she first filed a charge under Title VII and the ADA.

Under the ADA, the woman employee can sue after 60 days of filing a complaint with the agency but not later than 90 days after the EEOC informs her that it has completed the investigation.

The agency may also mail her the forms to file the lawsuit. She may complete the paperwork and await the response of a courtroom judge.

Use of Attorneys

In the case that the EEOC may have found grounds of discriminatory behavior, mediation has failed and the woman employee in question is considering a lawsuit, she may consider finding an attorney but may be concerned that she may not be able to afford one.

However, many lawyers take an interest to workplace discrimination cases, especially pregnancy discrimination ones, because of the potential for a financial windfall.

If solid evidence exists to back her case, most will take on a woman employee’s EEOC complaint.

As a result, she may call a local chapter of the American Bar Association to seek and request an attorney.

In so doing, the woman employee must take into consideration the statute of limitations in her state for the violation committed as it pertains to the ADA.

In some cases, the lawyers may not charge her at all, including for an initial consultation, until the case is complete because of the legislated accommodations afforded pregnant workers in the workplace and the expected financial rewards. They will enter contingency agreements to take a percentage of the sums awarded.

This method makes the court case more expensive as many attorneys may seek 30 to 40 percent of total compensation awarded their female clients after a trial.

However, at the same time, oftentimes a gesture as simple as a strongly-worded letter from the lawyer that demonstrates an employer’s failure to comply with federal law may be effective.

SOURCES:
American Association of University Women, “Know Your Rights: The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), http://www.aauw.org/what-we-do/legal-resources/know-your-rights-at-work/pregnancy-discrimination-act/

American Pregnancy, “Employment Policies Relating to Pregnancy and Childbirth,” http://americanpregnancy.org/planning/pregnancy-discrimination/

Cornell University pregnancy discrimination law, https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/29/1604.10
U.S. Department of Labor compliance policy, http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs28.htm and http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs73.htm

U.S. Justice Department’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,
https://www.eeoc.gov/index.cfm

U.S. Justice Department’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission disability laws, https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/disability.cfm

U.S. Justice Department’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission disability regulations, https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/disability_regulations.cfm

Your Rights Pregnancy Discrimination, https://www.workplacefairness.org/pregnancy-discrimination
Zillman, Claire, Fortune magazine, “UPS loses Supreme Court pregnancy discrimination case,” http://fortune.com/2015/03/25/ups-pregnancy-discrimination/

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It Could Happen To You…Why Pregnancy Discrimination Is A Cause For Concern

It Can Happen to You …
Why Pregnancy Discrimination Is A Cause For Concern

by Vladimire Herard

With a national economic recovery in motion in recent years and a 4.4 percent federal unemployment rate, a newer problem of more pregnancy discrimination cases is surfacing, U.S. Department of Justice’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Labor Department and several legal justice and workplace rights groups report.

Old and new businesses, government agencies and nonprofits generate thousands of new full-time and part-time jobs, recuperating over the years from the recession that started in 2008.

However, also with these gains comes a rising number of pregnancy discrimination charges as women of different ages and marital and parenthood statuses join or re-enter a stronger national workforce.

The EEOC is charged with investigating job discrimination related to pregnancy for businesses of 15 or more employees. Some states host their own agencies to enforce anti-bias state laws.

The Labor Department, particularly its Wage and Hour Division offices nationwide, probes complaints of family and medical leave discrimination in companies of 50 or more workers. Most states uphold their own family and medical leave laws.

Part of the cause stems from employers assuming that pregnant employees or those who gave birth are not as committed to their work as their non-pregnant peers or that they are no longer able to carry out their tasks as before.

Under the assumption that she would welcome this change without consulting her, some companies may provide a pregnant employee with a reduced schedule or fewer responsibilities, which may translate into limited opportunities for promotion or for less pay.

In 2013, 5,342 pregnancy discrimination charges were filed with the EEOC and state and local “Fair Employment Practices” agencies, an increase from 3,900 in 1997. Two years before, the agency collected 5,797 charges of pregnancy discrimination, a boost from 4,901 in 2006.

This form of gender-related bias cuts across all industries. However, workplace accommodation is most problematic in the retail and service fields.

The National Partnership for Women and Families reports that, between 1996 and 2005, about one-third of pregnancy discrimination cases, which represented more than 15,200 cases, originated from jobs in education, health care, leisure and other services.

To reverse this trend, the EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan singled out eliminating barriers to pregnancy accommodation in provisions of the American with Disabilities Act of 1964 and 1990, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 as one of its goals for fiscal years 2013 to 2016.

The PDA bans pregnancy discrimination for any facet of employment, including in terms of workplace accommodation, recruitment, retention, termination, compensation, assignments, promotion and benefits such as leave and healthcare insurance coverage.
During the start of the millennium, the EEOC updated its guidelines for the first time in 30 years to include stronger language outlawing such workplace practices by upholding the provisions of the ADA, especially the Americans with Disability Act Amendments Act of 2008, and PDA and defining pregnancy discrimination as a category of sex discrimination.

Additionally, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 permits new parents, including foster and adoptive parents, to receive 12 weeks of paid or unpaid leave to care for a new child.
Nursing mothers are also enabled to provide milk for their babies in the workplace under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Employees are eligible for leave after having worked for their employers for 12 months. Both laws — the ADA and the PDA — are enforced by the U.S. Department’s Labor’s Wage and Hour Division offices.
In 2015, the EEOC received 3,543 pregnancy discrimination complaints. By comparison, in 2002, the agency got 4,714 of such charges and resolved 4,778, recovering $10 million in cash benefits for plaintiffs.
Civil rights groups such as Pennsylvanians for Choice and the Feminist Majority find in their analyses that about 40 percent of women nationwide face pregnancy discrimination at work.

Only one in eight cases of women actually filing complaints with the EEOC, their state or local agencies or Wage & Hour Labor Department offices, the groups report.

As a result of the trend, between 1992 and 2011, pregnancy discrimination complaints rose by 71 percent.
Throughout the country, women, whether in skilled, semi-skilled or unskilled labor, must take unpaid leave or stop working during their pregnancy.
About 66 percent of first-time mothers stay on the job while pregnant with 90 percent of them working in their final two months of their terms.
This makes pregnancy discrimination the fastest-growing category of bias complaints filed against employers with the EEOC, with a 39 percent increase between 1992 and 2003.
Definition of Pregnancy Discrimination

Under the law — primarily the ADA and PDA — an employer must treat pregnant employees or applicants in the same manner and with the same benefits it would extend to employees with other disabilities.
While at least 12 states in the nation have laws and policies dealing with pregnancy discrimination, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, New Jersey and New York state have passed and upheld the strongest ones to protect pregnant employees when compared with other states in the country.
Pregnancy discrimination is defined by approaching women job applicants or employees unfavorably based on pregnancy status, childbirth or related circumstances.
With this type of bias, an employer might engage in the following types of illegal actions, both overt and subtle:
Fail to hire a pregnant applicant;
Fire or demote a pregnant employee;
Deny the same or a similar job title to a pregnant employee when she returns to work from maternity leave;
Treat a pregnant employee differently than other disabled employees, or;
Fail to provide a male employee health insurance coverage for his wife’s pregnancy or related conditions if a female employee’s husband already enjoys similar coverage from the company plan.
By legal definition, a related condition may be treated as a “temporary disability”. Examples include serious morning sickness, doctor-prescribed bed rest and childbirth or recovery from it.
Factors, Consequences of Bias
The factors and effects of pregnancy discrimination on women employees, her family and social circle are multiple, legal experts say.
They include the overall discouragement of women in the workplace, lack of knowledge of pregnancy discrimination laws, lack of evidence of bias, feelings of guilt, lack of access to health care and compromises to mothers and babies’ health.
Overall Discouragement of Women In The Workplace
While women have made significant gains in the workplace, new mothers still encounter difficulties in establishing and advancing their careers.
This restricts their freedom to choose if and when to start a family and to force them to elect their jobs over their home lives and health as well as that of their family.
As federal research bears out, women make up half of the workforce nationwide and 75 percent of mothers work outside of their home.
Many face difficulty supporting themselves or their families, working full-time or two jobs.
Women also comprise the main consumers in the country’s economy and their termination, resignation and unpaid leave affects their family’s financial stability and quality of life and the nation’s economic recovery.

Lack of Knowledge of Pregnancy Discrimination Laws
Regardless of income bracket and education, many individuals are not acquainted with anti-discrimination laws and policies.
By extension, most women — whether low-to-moderate-income or middle class — do not know pregnancy discrimination laws and policies.
Additionally, even with knowledge of the laws, women and their lawyers may find it challenging to determine what is legal and what is not with respect to pregnancy discrimination because most cases do not involve blatant actions but, instead, subtlety.
More likely than not, women employees in pregnancy discriminations may not have been aware that they were victims of such bias. In fact, some may believe that they failed the company.
Fears Over Careers
Most women employees, especially educated ones with middle incomes, tend to have much riding on their careers.
Over the years, they have completed college degrees, developed essential job skills and undergone training in their work settings. As a consequence, their social networks may be tight.
If they were to consult their attorneys about pregnancy discrimination or other categories of bias and have their cases litigated, they run the risk of being stigmatized by some important members of their network and potential employers as a troublesome employee.
With their career prospects at stake, their lawyers may advise them to take the ramifications of such litigation seriously.
Still, most women employees need not fear for their livelihoods for a number of reasons.
First, many pregnancy discrimination court cases, especially those involving educated, middle-income employees, are often settled before they are litigated so that no government files exist of these conflicts.
Secondly, employers stand to gain or lose from such cases as well as their workers. A company potentially accused of pregnancy discrimination must recruit and retain an individual to replace the woman employee it terminated.
There is much competition for highly-skilled and talented employees. Publicity for a bias case will not bode well for their hiring and firing efforts.
This leads to the reason women employees mustn’t fear for their jobs: the potential for an out-of-court settlement.
As part of the process, workers and employers both reach an agreement to not embarass or humiliate the other.
The woman employee will promise not to pursue the case in court if the company compensates her financially and neither violate the terms of the agreement lest there be future litigation.
Discouragement Over At-Will Employment
Many employees believe that at-will employment does not provide them with legal options should they face discrimination in the workplace.
At-will employment, which most workers are recruited under, provide the opportunity for a company’s leader or manager to terminate an employee for unfair and sometimes highly insensitive reasons.
The attorneys of the employees will discuss the definitions of at-will employment at length, almost discouraging them to take their cases to court.
This may give employees with legitimate cases the impression that, after much conversation with family, friends and their lawyers, that they should not take up a court case against a current employer but instead pursue their careers elsewhere.
In the process, the women employees do not realize that they could have secured their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and Fair Labor Standards Act.
They could have also received a solid severance package, a favorable company performance review and a confidentiality agreement before moving on to another employer.

Lack of Evidence of Bias
Many women employees fear that they may not be able to consult their lawyers and pursue their cases in court because they lack direct evidence of pregnancy discrimination.
If, for example, an employer gave a female worker a negative evaluation, it may not be evidence enough to prove bias.
However, a case lacking in direct proof of gender-based prejudice can be rich in circumstantial evidence, legal experts say.
For instance, in order to win a pregnancy discrimination case and as highly recommended, a women employee may create a timeline of her stint with the company from the moment she is hired to the day she is discharged, provided she holds an impeccable work record.
Perhaps, in one scenario, she is pregnant, suffers complications and must take leave as a result. She recovers and returns to work, refreshed, only to learn that she has been placed on a performance improvement plan.
With such circumstances and details, a woman employee could weave a compelling narrative of her pregnancy discrimination case that could help her win a case in court.
Compromises of Mothers’, Babies’ Health
With their pregnancy discrimination cases, many women employees have had to choose between safeguarding their health, their career, their financial security and that of their families.
In many instances, they had to ask for time to make a doctor’s appointment, lose compensation or remain without insurance or funds to pay for health services.
As a result, they lost income that could have empowered them to support themselves and their families.
Additionally, they did without crucial screenings or exams of their health or that of their developing fetus or infants.
Such deprivation leads to compromised health for a woman employee and her child, quality of life for herself and her family and lessened career prospects for her.
Vigilance Advised
With the factors and effects of pregnancy discrimination, legal experts advise women employees to remain vigilant of their workplace rights. They must recognize the signs when it happens to them and record their details.
The experts say must be mindful of the fears over their careers, guilt, lack of understanding of bias laws and policies and keep them from interfering with their ability to obtain legal justice, maintain meaningful work lives and safeguard their health and that of their family members, including their infants and children.
SOURCES:
American Civil Liberties Union, “New Mexico Teen Kicked Out Of School and Publicly Humiliated For Pregnancy,” and “ACLU Files Discrimination Lawsuit Against Bureau of Indian Education School,” www.aclu.org/womens-rights/hicks-v-edsitty-beach (article posted March 6, 2012)

Bakst, Dina, and Rowe-Finkbeiner, Kristin, Co-Founder & Co-President, A Better Balance, Executive Director & CEO, MomsRising.org, “Supreme Court Must Make Clear That Pregnancy Discrimination Is Unjust,” and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/dina-bakst and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/kristin-rowefinkbeiner (article posted Dec. 3, 2014 and updated Feb. 2, 2015.)

Bannan, Natasha Lycia Ora and Ingram, Joanna Cuevas, “Pregnancy Discrimination, Immigrant Women and Low-Wage Work,” The Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/natasha-lycia-ora-bannan and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/joanna-cuevas-ingram, (article posted April 9, 2015 and updated June 9, 2015)

Bates, Laura, “An End to Pregnancy Discrimination Is In Everyone’s Interest,” The Guardian newspaper, https://www.theguardian.com/profile/laura-bates, (article posted Nov. 29, 2013)

Fox, Adrienne, “How to Accommodate Pregnant Employees: The Best Way To Prevent Pregnancy Discrimination Is To Know The Law And Engage With Mothers-To-Be,” HR Today and HR Magazine, https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/Pages/0214-pregnancy-accommodation.aspx#article-section-1 and https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/Pages/0214-pregnancy-accommodation.aspx#article-section-5 (article posted Feb. 1, 2014) Gloudeman, Nikki, “When It Comes To Pregnancy Discrimination, Equal Is Not The Same As Fair,” Ravishly.com and The Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/nikki-gloudeman, (article posted Dec. 4, 2014 and updated Feb. 3, 2015)

Jamieson, Dave, “Meet The Working Mother Taking Her Pregnancy Discrimination Case To The Supreme Court,” The Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/dave-jamieson, (article posted Oct. 31, 2014 and updated Oct. 31, 2014)
Ness, Debra L., “The Supreme Court Should Say ‘No’ to Pregnancy Discrimination.” President, National Partnership for Women and Families, The Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/debra-l-ness, (article posted Dec. 3, 2014 and updated Feb. 2, 2015)
Spiggle, Tom, “The Supreme Court Could Soon Make Life Harder for Pregnant Women” founder, Spiggle Law Firm, http://www.yourepregnantyourefired.com, (article posted Nov. 20, 2014 and updated Jan. 20, 2015)
Spiggle, Tom, “What You Should Know About AutoZone’s $185 Million Pregnancy Discrimination Case.” founder, Spiggle Law Firm, http://www.yourepregnantyourefired.com, (article posted July 31, 2015 and updated July 31, 2016)
Spiggle, Tom, “White-Collar Women Don’t Speak Up About Pregnancy Discrimination. Here’s Why.” founder, Spiggle Law Firm, http://www.yourepregnantyourefired.com, (article posted Sept. 7, 2015 and updated Sept. 7, 2016)
Spiggle, Tom, “Why Young v. UPS is a Big Win for Pregnant Workers.” founder, Spiggle Law Firm, http://www.yourepregnantyourefired.com, (article posted May 27, 2015)

 

 

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A Heartfelt THANK YOU to Senator Oley Larsen (R) of North Dakota!

IBA Molecular/Zevacor’s treatment of Walter’s mother is atrocious and an injustice to women everywhere. Female Nuclear Radiation workers deserve to be treated fairly.Senator Oley Larsen

Senator Oley Larsen (R) of North Dakota Supports the Justice For Walter campaign. Senator Larsen, a political veteran and champion of both women’s rights and family values has lended both his support and time to the JFW. Sgt. Steven Eddings, Walter’s father and 8 year Veteran of the United States Army, has issued the following statement in regards to Senator Larsen’s support:

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

 

The Honorable Senator Oley Larsen
63 General Assembly
North Dakota Senate (3rd District)
11051 20th Avenue SE
Minot, ND 58701-2658

 

Dear Senator Larsen:

I am writing to thank you for helping champion my cause against pregnancy discrimination for my wife, Felicia, me, my baby son Walter and on behalf of other working mothers and fathers and their children.

As a resident of Kansas who does not live in your constituent state of North Dakota, I am deeply touched that you would support me, my family and friends as we launch and promote my Justice for Walter campaign and website. I truly appreciate it.

As you may know, Felicia and I were first inspired to start our crusade by her own experiences as a first-time mother who was terminated from her job as a pharmacist two years ago after she told her employer, the Kansas City and Chicago branches of IBA Molecular/Zevacor, she was pregnant.

As a result of her termination, my now-one-year-old son, Walter, could not receive the prenatal care he needed because my wife lost medical coverage when she was fired.

For the first five months of her pregnancy, she could not obtain medical exams to determine his medical status and hers.

Consequently, Walter was born with cardiac, pulmonary and neurological health complications. He was diagnosed with a heart condition and nerve damage.

Mainly due to a heart condition and nerve damage, he stayed for 23 days for treatment in the intensive care unit of a hospital. Aside from facing a parent’s worst nightmare of having a child whose life and health are endangered, Felicia was stricken with gestational diabetes and leukocytosis.

However, my son, Walter, has grown into a beautiful baby boy and is in sound health. Like many other infants and toddlers nationally he strives to live a normal life. Walter would not have had to undergo the ordeal of medical treatment for nearly a month had he received the medical care he needed.

Under federal and state law, had his mother been allowed to keep her job and her employer accommodated her, she would be able to obtain the health care little Walter and she needed for a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

No mother or father should have to experience what we went through for a month. Because of this, with the help of my friends, we are launching a legal justice campaign for Walter — to make sure that other infants and toddlers don’t ever survive what he did.

Within a day of building our website Sept. 6, we have managed to obtain many signatures for our cause, both in person and online. Several Political and Human Rights organizations are also rallying to our mission.

As a U.S. Army serviceman, a first-time father, the son of an 8 year military veteran and the grandson of a 32-year veteran, my son would not have to do without.

Under federal law and as a matter of military policy, the Army provides more benefits and protection for parents and their children than civilian workplaces and Walter would have greatly benefitted.

I urge you to continue the progress you are making in your legislative record to support pregnant women employees, mothers and fathers and their families.

Please keep up the impressive body of work you’ve begun to stand strong for unborn babies, infants, toddlers and children.

Warmest regards,

Steven “Rufus” Eddings,
U.S. Army Sergeant, husband and father
Shawnee, Kansas

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The Facts: Walter Eddings Case

In 2015, Walter Eddings’ mother, a Nuclear Radiation Worker, was fired by IBA Molecular/Zevacor, approximately 7 days after declaring her pregnancy to her employer.

Here’s the facts:

  • In December of 2015, Walter Eddings’ mother, Felicia, was fired approximately 7 days after declaring her pregnancy to her employer, IBA Molecular/Zevacor. The Declaration of Pregnancy is Mandatory in the field of Nuclear Radiation
  • Felicia appealed the firing via a Legal Unemployment Proceeding in Spring of 2016 and won
  • IBA Molecular/Zevacor has yet to provide a justifiable reason for Felicia’s termination, almost 2 years later
  • Senator Oley Larsen (R) of North Dakota  has pledged his full support to the Justice for Walter Campaign
  • None of the following IBA Executives at the time could be reached for commentary in regards to their involvement in the firing of Walter Eddings’ mother:

Scott Chance, Vice President at IBA Molecular/Zevacor

Robbie Smith, Human Resources Director at IBA Molecular/Zevacor

Darren Patti, Pharmacist and Facility Manager at IBA Molecular/Zevacor

Steve Strassle, Transportation Manager at Dynamex

Barbara Bolton, Administrative Coordinator

Walter’s mother is not alone. Numerous other organizations have alleged discrimination on the basis of both employment and Civil Rights again IBA Molecular/Zevacor. Sign the petition today to protest this termination.

SIGN THE PETITION

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Other IBA Molecular Discrimination Allegations

In 2015, Walter Eddings’ mother, a Nuclear Radiation Worker, was fired by IBA Molecular/Zevacor, approximately 7 days after declaring her pregnancy to her employer.

Walter Eddings mother, Felicia, is not the only one who has alleged discrimination on behalf of IBA Molecular/Zevacor. Nuclear medicine company IBA Molecular North America/Zevacor has been embroiled in a number of employment discrimination, civil rights, diversity and contractual breach court cases, a recent search of lawsuits reveals.

With an examination of federal, state and county court cases, IBA/Zevacor has established a pattern of litigation in which it either sued or was being sued. A recent case centers upon alleged pregnancy discrimination and slander against a staff pharmacist nearly a month after she was hired. Despite the efforts of the pharmacist’s attorneys for over two years, the case has not been brought to trial. Other organizations and individuals that have alleged discrimination include but are not limited to:

  • Ali L. Navqi vs. IBA Molecular, Illinois Health Sciences, et.a. – Employment Discrimination, Civil Rights
  • Parra vs. IBA Molecular – Employment Discrimination, Civil Rights

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