A model at the New York International Auto Show has filed a federal discrimination complaint after reportedly being fired by car manufacturer Hyundai for getting her period while on the job.
Rachel Rickert, 27, told The New York Post that she had been forced to work three hours on April 13 greeting guests at the Hyundai booth at the auto event without a bathroom break. After she finally was allowed to use the restroom, she discovered that she had missed her chance to change her tampon — and soiled the black tights and dress given to her by Hyundai as a uniform. When she asked her employer for a change of clothes and some time to clean up, she alleges she was told to take the night off because of her “period situation.”
Despite Rickert’s protests, she was ultimately forced to go home. A day and a half later, on the morning of April 15, Rickert said she received a call from her talent rep, Erika Seifred, telling her that she had been fired. “I was completely puzzled,” Rickert told the BBC. “I was really upset. I started crying … I book out shows, and I miss other opportunities. So I was just like, ‘What? This is not right!'”
“Hyundai heard about Ms. Rickert having her menstrual cycle and they didn’t want Ms. Rickert representing the company anymore,” Seifred told Rickert, according to a complaint filed by Rickert with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Rickert, a convention show vet who said she had done 50 shows at the city’s famous Jacob Javits Convention Center alone, was shocked by the firing.
“You’re not a robot. You have to use the bathroom, especially when you’re on your period,” said Rickert. “They just act like we’re not human. I’m not going to be ashamed or shamed for having my period.”
Read the full story at The New York Post.