Fired for being pregnant: Investigators say it happened in NJ
A health care facility in Cumberland County illegally fired an employee after learning she was pregnant, according to the state Attorney General's Office.
Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and the Division on Civil Rights announced Thursday that a finding of probable cause has been issued against South Jersey Extended Care in Bridgeton.
The privately-run rehabilitation service and long-term nursing care facility has been accused of violating state discrimination law when Taishan J. Smith was terminated after just her second day working as an activity aide, Grewal said.
In her complaint filed with the state, Smith said she was "essentially let go" on July 25, 2017, the same day that she told management she was pregnant.
Smith said after disclosing that she was expecting, her supervisor said it would be a “liability” for her to work at South Jersey Extended Care and that she should go home.
She said she then reached out via Snapchat to a co-worker, who she said responded that he’d been told Smith was let go because of her pregnancy.
During the state’s investigation, Smith provided a text message chain with another pregnant female employee at South Jersey Extended Care who she said also had been told that she would be terminated because of her pregnancy.
A finding of probable cause does not resolve a civil rights complaint, Grewal said. It means that a preliminary investigation has turned up sufficient evidence to support a reasonable suspicion that the state Law Against Discrimination was violated. He said New Jersey amended the law in 2014 "for the express purpose of protecting pregnant workers."