JOB SEARCH / APR. 15, 2014
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Weight Watchers Applicant Settles Discrimination Lawsuit

A Michigan mom has recently settled a four-year lawsuit against weight-loss company Weight Watchers, over pregnancy discrimination. 

Wendy Lamond-Broughton-who is a stay-at-home mom and TV commercial actress-immediately joined the program and lost 30 pounds after having her first child.

Following her successful story, the company asked if she wanted to be an advocate for other members. 

As a loyal member, Mrs Lamond-Broughton was ecstatic to take on the role and applied for the position. However, to her surprise, Weight Watchers denied her application because she was five months pregnant with her second child.

During the phone interview for Weight Watcher's group leader position, Mrs Lamond-Broughton brought up the fact that she was expecting. The hiring manager made it clear that the company does not hire pregnant women to work as advocates for their program.

"I said I am so excited. I am pregnant, but I want to work for you," she told WXYZ Detroit. "They said don't come in. We're not going to interview you because we never hire pregnant people."

The response completely shocked Mrs Lamond-Broughton because she assumed that the company caters to all women, whether pregnant or not.

Once the company made it clear that they weren't going to hire the mother of two, she quickly took action and filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

EEOC determined, however, that Mrs Lamond-Broughton weighed more than the goal weight required to qualify for the program. 

The federal commission attempted to settle the case, but was unsuccessful. 

The Detroit Field Office took matters into their own hands and filed a lawsuit on the bases of the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

According to one attorney, Weight Watchers had no right to turn Mrs Lamond-Broughton away:

“Under the PDA, pregnant applicants have the right to fair and equal consideration for employment. The EEOC is committed to ensuring that employers understand that a pregnant applicant's ability or inability to perform the job is the only factor that may be considered.”

The corporate company, The Weight Watchers Group Inc., has denied all discriminatory allegations.

One spokeswoman even stated that pregnant women have worked with Weight Watcher throughout 40 years of the company's existence.  

The only thing that may have been recommended to Mrs Lamond-Broughton was to have her baby first before entering into the program, which involves rigorous training the first few months.

The lawsuit was settled Wednesday in the amount of $45,000.

Mrs Lamond-Broughton hopes this will be a warning to all companies that discriminate against pregnant women.

 

Image via YouTube

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