Shaun Simmons, a biological woman who identifies as a man, reportedly told her supervisors, Mike Menno and Tyler Houpt, about the pregnancy. Shortly thereafter, dozens of employees knew about it.
The other employees began to harass Simmons, the lawsuit alleges. In one instance, a worker asked Simmons in the men’s bathroom, “Aren’t you pregnant?”
Simmons complained to the company’s human resources department, the lawsuit states, and was placed on paid leave as a result.
When Simmons returned from leave, she was demoted to item picker, which required her to lift “large bags of dog food and other heavy items,” according to the New Jersey Law Journal.
Simmons complained once again and was placed on paid leave for a second time but was warned that a doctor’s note would be necessary for any future pregnancy-related accommodations.
“Amazon has a policy and practice of discriminating against individuals because of their disability and/or pregnancy, failing to provide employees with accommodations, and retaliating against employees for requesting an accommodation,” the lawsuit states.
That practice, it says, “is demonstrated by the dozens of lawsuits filed against Amazon in the past six years in the state of New Jersey alone.”
The lawsuit accuses Amazon of pregnancy discrimination, failure to accommodate and workplace retaliation.
Simmons also directly names Menno and Houpt in the lawsuit.
It includes a demand that Simmons be reinstated to her former position with back pay, as well as seeking compensation for legal fees and punitive damages.
Leah Seay, an Amazon spokesperson, said that the company is unable to comment on the pending case, but “Amazon does not tolerate discriminatory harassment of any kind,” she noted.
“We have been, and continue to be, committed to accommodating all employees to perform their duties in a safe and inclusive workplace,” Seay said.