Netflix Faces a Pregnancy Discrimination Case

by Evil HR Lady on April 7, 2019

Tania Zarak worked developing original content for Netflix from mid-2018 until her boss, Francisco Ramos terminated her on December 14, 2018. Zarak claims the termination was due to her pregnancy–which is illegal.

Netflix, according to a statement given to Vox, said that they looked into the termination and it was not due to illegal causes and re-emphasized Netflix’s commitment to their employees’ and their families.

According to the lawsuit, Zarak claims that after she disclosed her pregnancy to her boss (including that she was fatigued and suffered from morning sickness), her boss, Ramos, reduced her role, removed her from communications, excluded her from meetings, and mocked her appearance. When Zarak complained to Human Resources, they told her to go back to Ramos to discuss the situation. However, Human Resources also told Ramos that Zarak had complained.

To keep reading, click here: Netflix Faces a Pregnancy Discrimination Case

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Corporate Punk April 7, 2019 at 4:45 pm

This is a tough case. I think about the HR department. What about this scenario? Since HR’s job is to provide justification ffor recommendations: what if Netflix management told HR, “We don’t care. We will pay the insurance deductible.”
Obviously, we don’t know the details, but as you mentioned the optics are woeful. Since perception is often considered truth, how does the HR person survive the poor judgment of higher management? Again, we don’t know the details, but based on what was published either the HR Team didn’t know the basics of investigation, was overruled and didn’t seek higher management to discuss or the HR dept is not well educated. The last would be doubtful since Netflix is such a large company . I think this is a daily struggle for HR Depts that struggle to enforce Best Practices for A company. I think, we HR professionals need to justify, support and unite when demonstrating to Management mitigates loss, maintains company brand and integrity. In this case, it is the HR department that is taking the hit. How will this affect the HR representative in this case when time to move professionally? Yikes!! Does that sound like an HR Union idea? Shudder me timbers….Now. After that statemenr I wrote, we will start a discussion on a hybrid association that can work to protect the HR professionals protect the company, the employees and the HR dept.


MariaRose April 7, 2019 at 6:09 pm

Interesting points made by this article, I like the points made by Corporate Punk that refers to HR as merely the purveyor of the proper paperwork with no input on the decision process. That situation discussed, was partly caused by a undiscussed bias ( not specified by the facts). Without further facts, we can’t decide who has the right complaint ( employer or employee) as there’s no public documentation disclosed. But even in a right to work/at will employment, despite the attitude of non-care about costs of the fine, all employers should document problematic situations at time of occurrence, not wait until the situation becomes too hostile.


BethRA April 7, 2019 at 10:34 pm

Pregnant employee goes to HR to complain about how they’re being treated by their manager; manager hears about it; pregnant employee gets fired the next day?

Netflix better have a truckload of documentation on this woman’s performance problems.


grannybunny April 8, 2019 at 1:52 pm

I disagree that it’s likely that Zarak will prevail in court. The legal burdens are so high in discrimination cases that few plaintiffs do win, in those cases that are fought all the way to the end, something like 5% or less. Even if the Plaintiff is able to establish a prima facie case of pregnancy discrimination — which is likely — she can still lose if Netflix is able to articulate a legitimate, non-discriminatory, reason for her firing. It doesn’t even have to be the actual reason, just a plausible one. At that point, Zarak would have to prove that the stated reason was pretextual, and that the real motive was discriminatory animus based on her pregnancy, which is a very difficult legal burden indeed. It is possible that the case may settle, though, simply because of the sheer expense of litigation.


RANI May 15, 2019 at 5:08 am

why the pragnancy descriomination happen?


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