Woman Told To Abort Baby Or Lose Job
A former waitress at the Mi Puerto restaurants in Virginia has filed a lawsuit claiming that her boss gave her an ultimatum to abort her unborn child or lose her job.
In the suit, Abigail Shomo says that she was told diners don’t want to see a “belly” on their waitress. And the boss in question is, she claims, the father of her child:
Shomo decided to keep her baby and not her job. She later filed a lawsuit that her attorney said raises a legal question yet to be addressed by a Virginia court:”The case presents the interesting question of whether an employer in Virginia can fire a woman for refusing to have an abortion,” said attorney Terry Grimes of Roanoke.
Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge James Turk referred the case to mediation.
I remember first hearing about such lawsuits back in the Melrose Place days. Long live Melrose Place! Anyway, Hunter Tylo was hired to play a steamy seductress but before she even filmed her first scene, she got pregnant. She was fired. Producer Aaron Spelling said, essentially, that viewers didn’t want to see a belly on their waitress.
But she won some $4.9 million back in 1997 dollars. Lisa Rinna ended up taking the role but the lawsuit was a huge deal. It’s actually considered pretty important case law for a variety of reasons, including the right of actresses not to be fired for pregnancy.
Anyway, after the president of the company learned she was pregnant (and yes, the president of the company is the alleged baby daddy’s father — this is a total soap opera) the suit claims he ordered her to be fired. An attorney for the company denies the charge of pregnancy discrimination.
Also the alleged baby daddy was just 17 years old when he met Shomo.
Whether or not this case has merit or whether the law should enforce these things, the idea that one can’t be pregnant and a waitress is ridiculous.