Woman sues store over heavy work after infant dies
ATASCADERO, Calif. (AP) – A California woman whose newborn died after she went into early labor has filed a lawsuit against her employer, grocery chain Albertsons, for denying her requests – on doctor’s orders – to avoid heavy lifting.
Reyna Garcia, 30, worked as a general merchandise manager whose job required heavy lifting and climbing, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reported.
Despite three doctor’s notes that said Garcia had a high risk pregnancy and shouldn’t lift more than 15 pounds, the lawsuit claims her employer denied requests for lesser duties or a temporary switch to another department. The lawsuit was filed in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.
In a statement, Albertsons officials said the company has “a proactive policy of accommodating pregnancy-related disabilities and consistently works with pregnant associates and their medical professionals.”
Despite three doctor’s notes that said Garcia had a high risk pregnancy and shouldn’t lift more than 15 pounds, the lawsuit claims her employer denied requests for lesser duties or a temporary switch to another department.
Garcia kept working while pregnant because she needed a job and health insurance.
In November, Garcia, who was 20 weeks pregnant at the time, asked to leave work because she was feeling tremendous pelvic pressure.
Her manager told her to finish her shift because the store was expecting a visit from corporate leadership, according to the lawsuit.
That night, Garcia was rushed to a hospital where she gave birth to a baby girl who died 10 minutes after delivery.
After returning to work, Garcia said she was stripped of supervisorial responsibilities and given a harsh review, despite having been an exemplary employee.
Garcia’s union did not respond to requests for comment.