Fired pregnant woman was told to “suck in” her belly


Be careful, bellies, you might scare the “beautiful” people!
Sometimes the jokes just write themselves. A plastic surgery office is being sued for discrimination after firing a pregnant secretary who was told to “suck in her belly so she wouldn’t scare away patients.”

[Erin] Griggle, who worked in the company’s Cranberry, [Pittsburgh] office, said she was fired in December 2005, two weeks after telling her supervisors she was pregnant.
In the lawsuit, Griggle said she was told to keep “sucking her belly in” by Dr. Brian Vasser Heil, the company’s president, so she didn’t scare away patients who came to the office to look better.
Griggle was fired days later, despite having recently received a satisfactory performance review, the lawsuit said.

Yeah, but she’s all pregnant and gross, and we wouldn’t want the pretty people to have look at her bulging belly. I mean, that would be too real and shit.

Join the Conversation

  • http://www.painfulreminder.blogspot.com the frog queen

    good lord. I seriously am getting worried about the day I’m ready to push one out. Thats just horrible. I hope the company gets what they deserve.

  • Kimmy

    *twitch*twitch*twitch*
    Is the implication here supposed to be that this guy thinks plastic surgery patients are so stupid they can’t tell the difference between a pregnant lady and a fat lady? Or that they would necessarily assume that an employee must also be a patient (and therefore, if she’s fat it’s a bad place to get plastic surgery).
    Better hope nobody there ever has anything happen to their face. They’d probably get fired for being too ugly.

  • http://www.painfulreminder.blogspot.com the frog queen

    not to hijack this thread, but I’ve been reading the most horrid plastic surgery issues lately. A Toronto woman just died from a liposuction proceedure last week!!
    http://painfulreminder.blogspot.com/2007/09/get-pretty-or-get-dead.html

  • http://thecurvature.com Anonymous

    I actually find this to be so absurd and nonsensical that I honestly have no idea what the joke would be.
    Unless it’s going to be a joke about zombie pregnant women. THEY would scare away clients, and let’s face it, zombie pregnant women are a pretty funny image.

  • BabyGirl

    Kimmy, I’m assuming that if she was telling her bosses she was pregnant, she was probably around 12 weeks. At 12 weeks I did indeed look like I had just been eating too many cheeseburgers. You don’t really get a pregnant looking belly until about 16 weeks. Not that I am excusing this horrifying behavior, just that she probably did just look chubby at that point, rather than pregnant.

  • Kimmy

    All the thin girls I knew who got pregnant (and I’m assuming she was thin, because otherwise she’d have been fired for “scaring the patients” already) looked pregnant pretty much from the moment you could see anything. The bulge in the tummy-area was too localized to be anything else. Now it’s possible that it’s merely a coincidence that my friends (a sample size of only two or three after all) happened to show their pregnancies in the same manner, but… I dunno, seems to me if you’ve got thin arms and thin legs and just your belly (and maybe breasts) have gotten a bit larger, it’s not that hard to tell.

  • http://thecurvature.com Anonymous

    I hope that we can all agree that whether she looked “fat” or “pregnant,” it is absolutely wrong and discriminatory to fire a person for either.

  • Rock Star

    Ok, correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought it was illegal for a workplace to discriminate based on this…

  • HeatherNumber1

    This is better than guys who are convinced women can just ‘hold in’ their menstrual blood until they get to the bathroom.

  • BluePencils

    My mom was fired for being pregnant back in 1963 (from Salomon Bros.) The difference was, it was legal back then. She hid the pregnancy as long as she could, as she and my dad were just starting out and needed the money. But once they realized, she was out the door. Part of me wonders if this plastic surgeon could really be that stupid to fire someone for being pregnant, but then didn’t Mencken say that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public?

  • http://www.breakingthetape.com/21stcenturymom 21stCenturyMom

    From the article you linked to “Heidi reveals her brave struggle to overcome two harrowing afflictions: small breasts and an nose so big she could totally see it on her face”
    I thought I was reading The Onion for a moment. I really did.
    ARRRGGGGHHH!!!!!
    I’m glad that woman is suing. May she win big.

  • http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/09/26/venezuelan_airbags/ TygerTyger

    Didnt know how to email feministing.com, so i have posted the story here, i thought it would create thoughts and debate.

  • gothchiq

    there is no doubt she will win. They discriminated based on family status, which is illegal.
    Aside from that, who in the world is afraid of a pregnant tummy? Come on…it’s got a human fetus, not a monster from Aliens that will rip out and kill everyone!

  • 1five9

    I am newly pregnant (barely pregnant as I refer to it) and one of books says to make sure to tape your belly-button if is pops out and is unattractive. I can understand covering it if it was irritating you, but unattractive? Who the heck cares is a belly button is unattractive?
    This pregnancy thing is going to fascinate me on so many levels, especially feminist ones. I just hope I don’t have to deal with it in a legal fashion like the woman in the article.

  • Lucie

    There is federal legislation called the Pregnancy Discrimination Act that she can sue under. It is part of the Civil Rights Act. It is completely illegal to fire someone for being pregnant if they can still do their job.

  • Waterpixi

    On the article about the pregnant woman being fired, I can’t even believe that happened. Suck in your pregnant stomach? Seriously? And 1five9, taping in your bellybutton sounds painful and bizarre. Does it extend maintaining belly button attractiveness for your little one following healing of the umbilical cord–is there anything in the book that talks about trying to force your baby’s bellybutton into an innie in case the doctor ties it into an outie? ;)
    [sort of off the pregnant topic, but there was a link to the pretty people story so i'll comment on it...I didn't like the part where Heidi was accused of making up hurtful things that people had said to her about her body ("I'll bet that no one actually said that nails in a board thing to you, Heidi. It was probably just the sound of air echoing through the empty space where your self-esteem should be.") I am pretty flat chested, and I have been ridiculed to my face about it by friends, family, and strangers, starting from when I was in 7th grade, and still even now, when I'm nearly 30. One of the comments I received, from a friend's aunt, was similar to the comment Heidi recounted. It sucks enough getting made fun of for something entirely out of my control (except for surgery, of course), and its a double insult when someone says no one has ever said anything hurtful. While I understand where she's coming from, i guess for me, as much as I hate my body, I still couldn't bring myself to get plastic surgery...Ok. Aside over.]

  • http://picasaweb.google.com/anna.faherty/Artwork violetlightning

    In celebration of kick-ass pregnant women in a skinny women’s world, I humbly submit this photo:
    http://picasaweb.google.com/anna.faherty/FromTheFridge/photo#5103122784493924786
    (Ignore my little comments . . . too much fun with my new computer.)

  • Destra

    This reminds me of the good ol’ days when there was no maternity or paternity leave. Boy, it sure is nice to be taking that step backwards.

  • Frenchwoman

    Creativity for the world or your city can mean many other things, ranging from encouraging social entrepreneurship to providing ladders of opportunity to start-up companies or rethinking education, like the Katha example described earlier.
    When you think of great creative cities, Paris, New York, Amsterdam and London spring to mind, but, of course, there are thousands of other places that have degrees of creativity. You usually think of the city as a composite whole, with many images racing around, rather than an individual building or a part. Paris may have the Eiffel Tower and New York the Empire State Building, but they do not encapsulate the city.