If you have spent any amount of time looking for a job in recent years, you realize how difficult it can be to land one that is right for you. Not only are we dealing with a difficult economy, there are some of us that even have to have two jobs to make ends meet. It is a stressful situation for many people and once they have a job they like, they tend to hold onto it as long as possible.
Expecting mothers also have a similar issue but in many cases, they realize that they have a limited amount of time before they have to go on maternity leave. That is what Kameisha Denton, from Marysville Washington, was experiencing. She worked at Jersey Mike’s Sub Shop and was putting in as much time as possible before she went on maternity leave in December.
She suddenly lost a lot of hours so she sent a text to her manager asking for a new version of the schedule. She got a response that went viral.
“Hello I am sorry to inform you but it’s not going to work out with Jersey Mikes. It’s not a good time to have somebody who is leaving for maternity leave in several months anyways. You also failed to tell me this during your interview. Good luck [.]”
“I was just like in shock, it took me a minute to face reality — I was like this is really happening,” Denton told KIRO-TV.
Tim Trieb, the owner of the Jersey Mike’s franchise that sent the text said that the message “should have never ever happened…It’s our policy to treat everybody equally.”
This isn’t only his opinion but it is a matter of Washington state law. That law states: “it is an unfair practice for an employer, because of pregnancy or childbirth, to: Refuse to hire or promote, terminate, or demote, a woman.”
Denton was given a fresh job offer by Jersey Mike’s but she declined.
“But I told him I wasn’t interested,” she said. “Just because, I feel like that’s just a way for me to hush with the situation, and it’s wrong.”
She admitted that she didn’t let them know she was pregnant when she interviewed for the job. She let the manager know after she was hired.
Here was the text:
I am four months pregnant and I was afraid to mention it because I have had a lot of interviews and once I mentioned I was pregnant they decided not to hire me.
I need this job so that I can care and provide for my baby. I promise this will not interfere with my performance at work. I also plan on coming back to work four weeks after the birth of my baby. He is due the end of December.
Thank you for this opportunity and I promise to be a great candidate for this job. I’ll see you tomorrow.
Denton worked three different shifts on the job prior to the time she received the text from her manager.
“I’m capable of working, I’m a good candidate,” she said, “It’s discrimination. You aren’t supposed to do that.”
An attorney, Reba Wiess agrees with Denton. She is not connected to the case.
“First of all, she doesn’t have to tell him during any interview that she’s pregnant,” Weiss said. “Secondly, it’s blatantly illegal to terminate a woman because she’s pregnant or she’s going to go on maternity leave.”
As it turns out, this 19-year-old mother to be will not be unemployed for long. In her words, she got “message after message [from employers] wanting me to work for them…I look at it as a blessing.”
The manager of Jersey Mike’s who sent a text message has resigned.