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A Pregnant Pause in Wrongful Termination Case

Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a major multi-national retail clothing company in a case alleging wrongful termination on the basis of pregnancy and gender under New York Executive Law section 296. The plaintiff had been employed by the company as a store manager when she directed a cashier to perform a $10 pay-out to her so that she could purchase lunch. The company has a no tolerance policy prohibiting personal use of store funds, and the plaintiff was terminated. The defense relied on the plaintiff's own deposition testimony that she understood that employees were not permitted to take cash from the register for personal use and that she had trained others regarding that policy to show that the proffered reason for her termination was not a pretext. The plaintiff could present no evidence that raised an issue of fact as to whether the improper personal use of funds was not the true reason for her termination, or that discrimination on the basis of her pregnancy was the real reason she was terminated.

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