Thursday, July 1, 2010

Employee's Fetus was Creating a Negative Energy Field in the Work Place

If you read only one Complaint this year, please make it the one that kicked off Harms v. Hearthstone Homes, Inc. In this bizarre lawsuit, the Plaintiff alleges she was fired in part because her "fetus was creating a negative energy field." The suit alleges religion- and pregnancy-based discrimination under Title VII and violations of Nebraska state law.

When the Plaintiff told the Hearthstone CEO of her pregnancy, he allegedly
responded by telling the plaintiff to be cautious because "babies can remember things while in the womb", and that [the CEO's] mother had a sexual affair with another man while she was pregnant with him and that he could still remember the trauma.
I think I'll remember the trauma of just reading that for awhile.

The Plaintiff also recounts a disturbing meeting in which the CEO and two other managers discussed their "intuition" about her pregnancy. One manager "saw her fetus as two magnets on opposite ends repelling one another, and [another] described her pregnancy as a 'miss'." Apparently, "[t]his meeting was very upsetting to the plaintiff." No kidding!

The discovery for this case should be fascinating. I'll try to keep an eye on this one. After all, I would love to read a court's analysis of whether a "negative force field" is a legitimate nondiscriminatory reason!

HT to Jon Hyman via Twitter who linked to a story on On Point News which provided the link to the Complaint.

Image: The Spirit of Halloween Lives On as a Dead Star Creates Celestial Havoc - Public Domain, created by NASA.

Posted by Philip Miles, an employment lawyer with McQuaide Blasko in State College, Pennsylvania.