She’s the ‘Girl Boss’ who claims her clothes are for “fashion-forward, free-thinking girls,” but it looks like Nasty Gal’s Sophia Amoruso isn’t so free thinking after all. That’s if the word of a former female employee, who claims that she was sacked before she left for maternity leave, is to be believed!
The lawsuit, filed in California in March by ex-employee Aimee Concepcion, claims that Concepcion was terminated from her position and lost her health insurance when she was 36 weeks pregnant. The suit also claims that in three other instances the company illegally terminated employees when they became pregnant and also a man who was about to take paternity leave was similarly fired.
“Nasty Gal has shown itself to be a horrible place to work for professional women who become pregnant,” the lawsuit said.
Under California’s Pregnancy Discrimination Leave Law, employees are entitled to four months unpaid disability leave (shocking in itself to those of us in Europe used to at least six months paid maternity leave!). California law also stipulates that a company can transfer a person to an “alternative position” after they return from their time off as long as this is not a demotion.
What’s even more shocking is that Concepcion’s claim states that the company tried to force her to sign a severance agreement waiving her right to sue them. The company allegedly promised that it would continue to pay her through her due date and provide healthcare coverage so long as she signed the agreement. Unfortunately when she gave birth in November, she discovered that her healthcare insurance had not been paid! Nasty, indeed!
In relation to the lawsuit, a Nasty Gal representative confirmed to Jezebel that;
“The accusations made in the lawsuits are false, defamatory and taken completely out of context. The layoffs in question were part of a larger restructuring of departments we completed over nine months ago. The lawsuits are frivolous and without merit.”
Now that the media have wind of it, we’ve little doubt this will settle out of court. Nonetheless, it’s shocking that a company that promotes itself as feminist and ‘for the girls’ would stoop so low. The suit really highlights how difficult it is for pregnant employees stateside and makes us grateful for the maternity leave provisions we have in the UK!