FORMER ABS MANAGER FILES SUIT, CHARGES BIAS OVER PREGNANCY

NEW YORK — A former manager at the ABS women’s apparel store in Los Angeles has charged owner Allen Bruce Schwartz with discriminating against her and other employees because they were pregnant.
Karen Johnston, who filed the suit in Los Angeles Superior Court, said Schwartz fired a pregnant worker whose doctor ordered her to stay at home the week following the January 1994 earthquake. Johnston said the store wanted her to take early maternity leave because it didn’t want women on the sales floor who were visibly pregnant. She said Schwartz ordered that she be fired after she refused to take early maternity leave.
Margo Feinberg, of Schwartz, Steinsapir, Dohrmann & Sommers, said in court papers the pressure brought upon pregnant women at work forced Johnston’s doctors to induce early labor.
According to court papers, which seek unspecified damages, both Johnston and her baby are in good health.
Schwartz told WWD Wednesday Johnston was fired for a reason “totally unrelated to her pregnancy.” He wouldn’t elaborate.

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