Ms. Krill worked for a mid-size pharmaceutical company, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, who had a maternity policy that provided thirteen paid weeks of leave for mothers after the birth of their child. In fact, Ms. Krill received such a leave in 2007 when she gave birth to her first child.
Cubist advised Ms. Krill that because she did not carry the babies herself, the company would provide five paid days of leave under Cubist’s adoption policy, which also included a payment of up to $4000.00 to cover adoption expenses. Similarly, the company’s policy included paternity leave of five paid days to male employees who became fathers.
Ms. Krill launched a lawsuit against Cubist alleging discriminatory treatment and a lack of accommodation of her disability—her inability to carry a child to term. She has also claimed verbal harassment and other adverse treatment on the part of her supervisor, who is alleged to have told her that she was not entitled to maternity leave on several occasions.
I have little sympathy for Ms. Krill for several reasons. Firstly, I find it unimaginable that she would sue her employer given America’s dire unemployment situation. It must be apparent to her that whether she wins or loses her lawsuit, her relationship with her employer is irreparably harmed.
With advances in reproductive technologies, employers must now deal with situations they have never before encountered and quite properly are using the rationale of their adoption leave policy to address Ms. Krill’s circumstances.
A child born of a surrogate is more akin to an adopted child than a child who is delivered from his or her mother’s womb. A mother with a surrogate child has none of the medical aftermath that flows from natural or cesarean birth.
Paid maternity leave is a luxury unknown to most mothers in America. Ms. Krill should appreciate what she has and abandon her lawsuit. What do you think?
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang