Indiana Woman Moves for Summary Judgment in AT&T Pregnancy Discrimination Suit

An Indiana plaintiff seeks summary judgment on her claim that AT&T Mobility Services LLC’s attendance policy violates the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). The Northern District of Indiana lawsuit concerns the plaintiff’s allegedly unlawful termination resulting from her accrual of demerit points for attending gynaecological appointments and visiting the emergency room during the final three weeks of her pregnancy.

Monday’s motion explains that the plaintiff began working as an AT&T retail store sales representative in 2014 when she was 23 years old. The company policy regarding absences permitted employees to miss work for certain excused absences, including jury duty, bereavement, and disability accommodation, but never for pregnancy-related reasons, the filing says.

During the final weeks of her pregnancy in June 2015, the plaintiff suffered complications that made her uncomfortable and endangered the health of the fetus, the complaint says. The plaintiff was reportedly fired for her unexcused absences, a development she found out when she reported for work following the birth of her child in July.

The motion argues that “[o]n its face, AT&T’s policy punishes pregnant workers more harshly than non-pregnant workers,” as other categories of absence are automatically “excused.” This expressly violates the PDA, which requires employers to treat pregnant and non-pregnant employees equally, the filing says.

The plaintiff further argues that AT&T has not provided any justification for refusing to excuse pregnancy-related absences on the same terms it excuses other absences. AT&T’s response is due December 13.

The plaintiff is represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and AT&T by Paul Hastings LLP.