A Pregnant Woman Was Fired for Taking Too Many Bathroom Breaks, and Now She's Suing

LONDON - JULY 18: In this photo illustration a pregnant woman is seen at the office work station on July 18, 2005 in London, England. Under plans to revise paid maternity leave, an exteneded period of six to nine months will be offered for maternity leave from 2007. (Photo illustration by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
Source: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images News/Getty Images

When will companies learn that firing a pregnant woman is almost never going to end well? Maxim Integrated Products apparently didn't get the memo, because they fired a pregnant employee for using the bathroom too often, and now she's suing for her job back.

Dawn Steckmann had been a fabrication technician at the cell phone chip manufacturer for 10 years when in 2013, she was called into her manager's office and unceremoniously fired for not clocking out for her frequent bathroom breaks, Jezebel reports. Frequent bathroom breaks that were the result of a bladder issue that came from being pregnant. Twice. Did I mention that her managers were all men?

To make matters worse, this was after she'd already been told in 2011, the first time she got pregnant, that she didn't need to clock out for her increased bathroom breaks. With the bladder problems of her second pregnancy — in addition to the pregnancy part making her have to urinate frequently anyway — she claims that her needs became too urgent for her to have time to clock out, USA Today reports. However, her bosses had other ideas about what she was doing during all that time in the bathroom.

She claims the HR manager said that she could have been watching movies during her frequent breaks, and that her supervisor equated her bathroom behavior to stealing because "not clocking out to use the restroom is stealing from the company."

It probably won't come as a surprise to hear that she'd filed complaints against her supervisor for gender bias before. The kind of cluelessness that allows someone to compare pregnancy-induced frequent urination to time theft can only come from an environment seriously lacking in uteruses. 

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Steckmann is now suing for $406,000 in lost wages and damages. Let's hope that the Supreme Court has made a decision on the alleged pregnancy discrimination in UPS by then, and that it works out in Steckmann's favor. Maybe she should get the amazing pregnant woman who went off on anti-abortion protesters to speak for her in court — that lady has a way with words.

Image: Giphy

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