A former Planned Parenthood employee is accusing the abortion chain of discriminating against her while she was suffering from cervical cancer.
The Indy Star reports Angela Brown filed a lawsuit against the Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana and Kentucky on Monday.
Brown, who worked for the abortion advocacy group for three years, alleges that she was denied family medical leave after being diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2016. Brown later was fired.
Interestingly, Planned Parenthood offers cervical cancer screening services, and often touts them when lobbying for the hundreds of millions of tax dollars it receives each year. Brown’s attorney highlighted the irony of this in light of the allegations.
“There’s an assumption that when you treat women with those issues, you’d be sympathetic to those issues,” said Heather Falks, who is representing Brown. “Our argument is this is retaliation for an employee who was seeking leave.”
Here’s more from the report:
After being diagnosed with cervical cancer in June 2016, Brown says she was “intentionally and willfully discriminated against” by Planned Parenthood after she needed to have a biopsy once every three months. This included not being allowed to use Family and Medical Leave Act time off for her appointments, she says.
The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 is a federal labor law requiring certain employers to provide employees with job-protected and unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons.
The lawsuit describes an example of the alleged discrimination that happened a day before Brown was supposed to have a biopsy surgery, according to the report. Brown said she called off work “due to pain and bleeding associated with her disability,” and she had already informed her supervisors of the surgery the next day.
“The Defendant texted Ms. Brown stating ‘you will not take off without a valid reason,’” the complaint states.
A Planned Parenthood spokesperson in Indiana said they would not comment on pending litigation.
Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion chain in the United States, has faced lawsuits from former employees before. In 2004, a Houston, Texas Planned Parenthood faced allegations that it failed to act when an abortion practitioner sexually harassed an employee and later forced the employee to resign. That same year a group of black and Hispanic employees filed a federal lawsuit alleging that they were treated in a racist manner by officials at a Planned Parenthood abortion business in southern California.