Getting a job in this economy is no easy task, which is why a lot of people end up working multiple part-time jobs to make ends meet. Saving money while you have to pay your bills is nearly impossible, which can be stressful if you have things to pay for.
This is even more true for expecting mothers, who only have a short amount of time to save before they have to go on maternity leave.
For Kameisha Denton in Marysville, Washington, she was hoping to pick up as many hours as she could from her job at Jersey Mike's sub shop before going on maternity leave in December.
However, her hours were suddenly slashed, so Denton sent a text to her manager asking for an updated version of the schedule. The response she got has since gone viral.
"Hello I am sorry to inform you but it's not going to work out with Jersey Mikes. It's not a good time to have somebody who is leaving for maternity leave in several months anyways. You also failed to tell me this during your interview. Good luck [.]"
"I was just like in shock, it took me a minute to face reality -- I was like this is really happening," Denton told KIRO-TV.
According to Tim Trieb, who owns the Jersey Mike's franchise in question, that message "should have never ever happened…It's our policy to treat everybody equally."
He's certainly not wrong. Under Washington state law, "it is an unfair practice for an employer, because of pregnancy or childbirth, to: Refuse to hire or promote, terminate, or demote, a woman."
Denton was offered her job back by Trieb, but she declined.
“But I told him I wasn’t interested,” she said. “Just because, I feel like that’s just a way for me to hush with the situation, and it’s wrong.”
Denton admits that when she was interviewed for the job, she did not mention she was pregnant, but instead waited until after she accepted the offer to text the manager to let him know.
This was the text:
I am four months pregnant and I was afraid to mention it because I have had a lot of interviews and once I mentioned I was pregnant they decided not to hire me.
I need this job so that I can care and provide for my baby. I promise this will not interfere with my performance at work. I also plan on coming back to work four weeks after the birth of my baby. He is due the end of December.
Thank you for this opportunity and I promise to be a great candidate for this job. I’ll see you tomorrow.
Denton worked three shifts at the job before she received the message from her manager.
“I’m capable of working, I’m a good candidate,” she said, “It’s discrimination. You aren’t supposed to do that.”
Reba Weiss, an attorney not connected with the case, agrees with Denton.
"First of all, she doesn’t have to tell him during any interview that she’s pregnant,” Weiss said. “Secondly, it’s blatantly illegal to terminate a woman because she’s pregnant or she’s going to go on maternity leave.”
The 19-year-old mom-to-be won't be without work for long, though. She says she's gotten "message after message [from employers] wanting me to work for them...I look at it as a blessing."
As for the manager of Jersey Mike's? He resigned from his position.