Lawsuit: Woman fired after revealing pregnancy

Posted at 6:40 AM, Apr 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-27 14:42:16-04

A local woman told 10News that she was fired from her job less than two hours after telling her boss she was expecting a baby girl.

Tiffany Jackson, who filed a sex discrimination lawsuit Tuesday, said that she "was 100 percent blindsided."

In October, the former 10News associate producer took a job with CMW Media, a local public relations firm that represents medical marijuana and hemp companies.

"It was a 90-day probationary period," said Jackson.

Jackson was hired as an account manager in charge of three accounts, including Medical Marijuana Inc., the first publicly held medical marijuana and hemp company.

"The only feedback I'd ever gotten was positive," said Jackson.

She said a day after the three-month probationary period ended, she informed Andrew Hard -- the head of the company -- that she was pregnant and due in July.

"He asked me if it was a good thing. I looked at him confused and said, 'Yes, we are excited about this,'" said Jackson. "My boyfriend and I are both 38, and we're thrilled about this chance to be parents."

She said less than two hours after an awkward exchange, he sat her down again and fired her.

"I couldn't believe this was happening to me at that very moment. I thought I was living a nightmare. He told me I wasn't a good fit but couldn't provide any specifics. Just a few weeks before, I had gotten feedback from a client saying I was a joy to work with and efficient," said Jackson.

"This is a classic case of an employer not wanting to deal with a pregnant employee and telling her to go away because this is hurting our bottom line," said Jackson's attorney, Dan Gilleon.

"This is supposed to be the happiest day of my life and now I have to go through this," said Jackson.

Jackson said she hopes her legal action will send the company a message.

"It's just not right and I don't want another woman to go through what I'm going through. A company should not be able to get away with this," said Jackson.

In a statement, CMW Media said:

"Ms. Jackson was terminated based solely upon job performance prior to the expiration of her 90-day probation period with the company. The decision to terminate her was documented by management several days prior to the time she informed the company about her alleged pregnancy … Originally, Ms. Jackson claimed she was terminated due to her alleged pregnancy however, in a March 23, 2016, letter from her attorneys, she has now changed her story and claims she was a 'whistle blower' …"

Gilleon responded, "Ms. Jackson's story has not changed. Her complaint filed today is for pregnancy discrimination. The claims they fired her for cause is awfully convenient, especially when they can't produce documentation."