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AT&T Mobility’s No-Fault Attendance Accused of Being Discriminatory

AT&T Mobility LLC has in place an absence policy known as “no-fault.” Under this policy, point demerits are assigned for late arrivals, early departures, and all absences unless they are “excused,” and no grace period is allotted. Two female hourly employees who worked for the AT&T subsidiary are suing the company, claiming that the policy discriminates against women and violates the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Katia Hill worked for an AT&T store in Indiana. After she became pregnant, nausea and other pregnancy related symptoms caused her to be late and miss some work. By the time she had given birth, she had several demerits. She was fired two days after returning from maternity leave for the pregnancy-related demerits she had earned before giving birth. Similarly, Cynthia Allen worked at a New York and then Las Vegas AT&T store. She had to take some time off due to her pregnancy and submitted medical documentation to substantiate that. After she returned from her maternity leave, she was put on “final notice” due to her pre-birth absences. Ms. Allen was fired after having to miss two more days that month because her infant son needed emergency medical care.
According to the lawsuit, the absence policy does create exemptions for jury duty and short-term disability but does not address pregnancy. The ACLU Women’s Rights Project is co-counsel in the litigation and has stated that they are suing on behalf of non-management employees in the company’s retail stores. AT&T has not yet issued a statement about the lawsuit other than it is under review.