A California woman is blaming – and suing – her employer for the death of her newborn baby for not allowing her to take a break from heavy lifting despite multiple doctor’s notes.
Reyna Garcia, 30, worked as a general merchandise manager at grocery store, Albertsons, a job requiring 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 Albertsons 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.”
Garcia said she 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 went into early labor and 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 then given a harsh review, despite having been an exemplary employee.
Garcia’s union did not respond to requests for comment.
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.