For most people in Wisconsin, Disney brings to mind childhood memories of movies and theme park rides. Unfortunately, not everyone has such cheery memories. A former employee recently filed a workplace discrimination lawsuit, claiming that the company engaged in gender bias during her pregnancy.
The woman previously worked as an aerial dancer in one of the popular live shows at the Animal Kingdom park of Walt Disney World. She described her former position as one that was highly sought after. The women who performed in the show wore harnesses, which were then clipped to safety gear during the show so they could fly inside the theater.
She went on maternity leave sometime after she got pregnant in 2015. However, she was not medically cleared to return to work at her postnatal appointment. After undergoing a cesarean section to deliver her twin babies, she was told she was high-risk and absolutely could not wear a harness. In Oct. 2016 she was given medical clearance to return to work, but discovered that Disney had fired her at some point during her pregnancy. She had not been notified of the firing.
Since filing her claim, she released a statement saying that she was pursuing the suit not just for herself, but also for other women who work in highly specialized roles. She pointed out that it is unreasonable for women to have to consider that they might be fired for having a child. Unfortunately, this type of workplace discrimination is still rampant across Wisconsin. However, successfully pursuing claims against discriminating employers can help protect other women from suffering similar outcomes.