Former Fulton County 911 operator trainees say they were discriminated against them because they were pregnant www.privateofficer.com
ATLANTA GA May 21 2012
Two former Fulton County 911 operator trainees said the message at the Department of Emergency Services was “get pregnant and get fired.”
They claim the county discriminated against them because they were pregnant and Channel 2 Action News has learned a federal agency agrees.
“We can’t help that this is the reason God put us here to be able to give birth and our jobs should not be put on the line,” Leeneeka Bell told Channel 2′s Lori Geary.
Que’ana Morris said she was also terminated and told Geary she was shocked when her supervisor said “Once you rectify your problem which is your pregnancy then you can come back.”
Both ladies were pregnant with complications during their training. Both said their pregnancies led to their firings.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission did a full investigation and after more than two years it agreed that Fulton County discriminated against the two women.
Letters show the findings from the federal agency.
“It was as if I had a voice when I couldn’t go directly to them to beg and to plead, ‘Hey this is going to happen.’ That voice came through the EEOC,” Morris said.
Both women said they not only lost their jobs but also their benefits, including health insurance, when they needed it most.
“I was worried about ‘How do I pay for pregnancy? How do I pay to deliver a baby?’ Nobody, no woman, should have to experience that,” Morris added.
The women said their firings sent a clear message to other women in their workplace.
“I think a lot of people got scared if they were thinking of becoming pregnant. The story was ‘Look what happened to the other two,’” Bell said,
Now, the two women plan to file suit against Fulton County. If they win, taxpayers will foot the bill.
“It’s unbelievable. The employer, a government agency, in this day and age, is going to make a woman choose between having a baby and having a job,” attorney Lisa Millican said.
Late Thursday afternoon, Geary received a statement from a Fulton County representative saying, “Fulton County is a progressive and inclusive employer that fully complies with relevant federal laws as well as our own internal policies and procedures. At no time did Fulton County take any prohibited action against the employees in question.”
Both women said they plan to file suit in the next few weeks.
Both ladies gave birth to healthy girls that are now 2 years old.