Chelsey Glasson writes on the challenge of fighting a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against Google
Former Google employee Chelsey Glasson, who filed suit against Google in July of last year for pregnancy discrimination, has authored an op-ed in Fast Company that provides something of an update on her situation, with a real-world view of the challenges of pursuing a discrimination suit against one of the world's largest corporations, and a call for EEOC reform. A broader background on her story was featured in Fast Company in October 2019.
Some changes to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission might be underway under the Biden administration - see for example this recent article from The Hill, which notes that President Biden has now fired the EEOC's general counsel Sharon Gustafson, who was appointed by the previous administration. On March 9, Slate published an explainer on the firing, with the subheading "Sharon Gustafson undermined her own agency’s fight against workplace discrimination."
Some extracts from the Fast Company op-ed appear below.
Fighting Pregnancy Discrimination Shouldn't be this Hard
I’m in my third year of fighting the pregnancy discrimination that I experienced during my time as a user researcher at Google, and sometimes it feels like there’s no end in sight...
After leaving Google, I dove into research about pregnancy discrimination to try to figure out my options. I ended up filing a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and they eventually opened an investigation. But after months went by with no meaningful update from the EEOC, I decided to pursue a lawsuit...
While I’m grateful I found a lawyer on contingency after many turned down my case, contingency doesn’t mean free. As a plaintiff I’m still responsible for many administrative costs associated with depositions, filings, and engaging expert witnesses...
It doesn’t have to be this way. Our country needs financially accessible paths to fighting pregnancy discrimination that hold employers accountable while protecting the identities of women who experience discrimination. This is supposed to be what the EEOC does, but the organization is broken... Despite a rise in claims, the commission’s funding has remained mostly flat for two decades, creating a backlog of over 40,000 cases
We desperately need comprehensive EEOC reform as a means to combat pregnancy discrimination in this country. Women without the resources to retain attorneys, or the bandwidth (or interest) in filing public-facing lawsuits, need and deserve pathways to justice. Without them, companies will continue to discriminate with little threat of recourse...
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