Woman files pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against Kroger - WSMV News 4

Woman files pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against Kroger

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Jessica Craddock is now part of a class action lawsuit against Kroger. (WSMV) Jessica Craddock is now part of a class action lawsuit against Kroger. (WSMV)

A Kroger employee claims her work forced her into unpaid leave for seven weeks during a complicated pregnancy.

She said she was told the store has a "no restrictions" policy and couldn't accommodate her request to go on light duty. Now, she's part of a class action lawsuit filed against Kroger.

"I just don't know how many people have been through what I went through and hasn't stepped up and said anything," said Jessica Craddock.

Craddock said she has worked at the Charlotte Pike Kroger for four years. She said her job as a deli and bakery store clerk was perfect in its flexible schedule until pregnancy complications in 2014.

"My baby dropped in my cervix, and I was at risk of miscarriage," said Craddock. "I couldn't lift over 10 pounds."

Craddock said after giving her bosses a doctor's note, she was placed on light duty for two weeks before a problem came up again.

"They told me it was against Kroger policy to work with restrictions," she said. "I was shocked. I was stressed. I didn't know what to do. I was then prompted to go home without knowing if I had a job or not or if I could come back afterward."

Craddock said she went seven weeks on unpaid leave before she was told by representatives of Kroger that an inadvertent mistake was made, and she could return with accommodations.

"I lost my apartment," she said. "I then moved back in with my grandmother until I got back on my feet."

Attorney Elizabeth Gedmark of A Better Balance has filed a class action lawsuit against Kroger alleging pregnancy discrimination.

"Employers thought they could get away with these no restrictions policies," said Gedmark. "They wouldn't accommodate any of these medical restrictions, even pregnant workers, even with pregnancy-related disabilities. Kroger can't treat pregnant workers like second-class citizens. Jessica was actually able to continue working. All she needed were some accommodations so she wasn't having to risk her health while she was pregnant. To us, that is completely unacceptable in 2016, and we're not going to let Kroger get away with it."

Kroger spokesperson Melissa Eads sent Channel 4 this statement:

We generally do not comment on pending legal matters. Kroger is proud to be the employer of choice for over 8,000 Middle Tennessee residents, and we are committed to their health and well-being.

Craddock continues to work at the same Kroger and claims her effort is to change a policy.

"It's for not just me, it's for everyone that's been through a situation that I have went through, and they didn't know what to do or how to do it," said Craddock.

Gedmark said the lawsuit was filed Tuesday, and they are waiting on Kroger's response.

Copyright 2016 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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