Thursday, April 4, 2024

The 5th nominee for the Worst Employer of 2024 is … the abhorrent optometrist

"The only thing that changed from when I left for maternity leave to when I was terminated was the fact that I had a baby. It sent a clear message they didn't value me as a person, as a new mom. It was shocking."

Those are the words of Dr. Alana Curatola, who is now suing her former employer, Northwest Eye Surgeons, for discrimination.

The eye doctor claims that her former employer fired her on the same day she returned from her state-law-provided unpaid maternity leave. Prior to her leave, Curatola claims that her boss told her to "keep her baby inside" because of her heavy workload.

The Everett Hearld quotes Curatola's attorney, Beth Bloom, who said, "There's this stereotype that women can't really be dedicated employees and also dedicated mothers." She also told Medscape, "It's outrageous for an employer to be as bold and unapologetic as to fire a good doctor on their return from maternity leave."

On the day of her termination, Curatola's boss told her that she was being fired for an alleged "mistreatment of coworkers." The company's attorney told Medscape that it's "confident it treated Dr. Curatola fairly throughout her employment, including the decision to terminate."

It better have the goods to back up that claim of "fair treatment," because it's awfully shady to fire an employee on her 1st day back to work following maternity leave. It will also land you on my annual list of worst employer nominees.