First it was Brian Reid, who claimed age discrimination. Now it’s Chirstina Elwell, who is claiming discrimination based on pregnancy. Elwell was a high ranking sales exec at Google based in NY. This looks like a terrible nightmare for all involved. I very much hope the allegations she makes are not true, in any case, it looks awful for Google. Elwell lost three of her quadruplets during her pregnancy and was fired, then rehired, then “constructively terminated,” a term for being fired based on contractual interpretations, in this case apparently her own.
Elwell’s boss, Google sales chief Tim Armstrong, allegedly called her an “HR nightmare.” To be fair, I understand what he means by that, if indeed he did say it. I’ve had a few of those in my own experience as a boss, and it is really no fun to deal with someone who has convinced themselves that your company has screwed them over, when in fact they may be self destructing all on their own. The facts in this case are not known, all we have are Elwell’s allegations – Google of course is not commenting, past the standard “this suit is without merit and we will defend it vigorously” line.
But a company needs to have its sh*t together to deal with these outlier cases, and apparently, Google did not. And what makes this worse is the loss Elwell suffered during the whole affair.
Gary Price has the full complaint at the end of his post here.