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WeWork Latest Woe: Pregnancy Discrimination Claim

Former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann and his fellow executives are accused of discriminating against Neumann’s former chief of staff, Medina Bardhi. She states that Neumann asked her during her first job interview whether she planned to get married and become pregnant. It is alleged that he regularly asked that question of female applicants. Bardhi states that she was one of five employees to have received an award for outstanding performance for her work.

After becoming pregnant in early 2016, Bardhi told Neumann quickly because she did not want to accompany him on private flights where he and others allegedly smoked marijuana. From there, Neumann allegedly made negative comments about her pregnancy such as, “I hope you are going to have fun on your vacation while we’re here working.” He made comments about her pregnancy being a “problem.” Bardhi claims that Neuman quickly began looking for another chief of staff and planned to demote her. According to the lawsuit, a male was hired as chief of staff at double the salary of Bardhi. After returning to work in a new undefined role, Neumann allegedly referred to her as having “come out of retirement.” Bardhi was eventually given her old position, that is until she became pregnant again in 2018. A male was hired to replace her. Bardhi raised complaints about the comments and her being sidelined. When Neumann left the company, she was told that there was no longer a role for her and she was fired.

Two other women have also filed lawsuits against WeWork, one for gender-based pay discrimination and another for sexual harassment.