Monday, July 16, 2012

Virginia Waitress Fired for Refusing to have Abortion

U.S. District Judge James Turk has dismissed the discrimination claim filed by Abigail Shomo that she was fired for refusing to have an abortion, but the judge says her claim of employment discrimination for being pregnant has merit.
"The case presents the interesting question of whether an employer in Virginia can fire a woman for refusing to have an abortion."
-- Terry Grimes (attorney in Roanoke, VA)
-- From "Woman: Abortion refusal cost her job" by The Associated Press 7/16/12

Attorney Keith Finch, who represents restaurant parent company Junior Corp., says the discrimination allegations are false.

The lawsuit claims restaurant president Leopoldo F. Aguirre Sr., ordered the firing and told Shomo that customers don't want to see "a belly" on their waitresses.

Shomo refused to have the abortion on religious grounds.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Boss accused of ordering Dublin waitress to have abortion" by Laurence Hammack, Roanoke Times 7/13/12

One of the hardest-fought issues [of the lawsuit] has been whether Shomo can bring a state law claim for being illegally fired for refusing to have an abortion.

There is no controlling precedent for such a claim in Virginia, Turk wrote in an opinion filed in June.

. . . the judge said he "reluctantly" dismissed the claim, concluding it would not survive under a complicated set of factors. Grimes said he intends to appeal on that issue, which has yet to be addressed by the Virginia Supreme Court.

In the same opinion, Turk allowed Shomo's claims of pregnancy discrimination and wage violations to move forward.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.