Woman says ExxonMobil fired her because of pregnancy

Annie Cosby Nov. 14, 2014, 11:06am

A woman is suing ExxonMobil, claiming she was fired from her international job due to her pregnancy.

Jennifer Taylor filed a lawsuit Oct. 9 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas against ExxonMobil Iraq Ltd., ExxonMobil Oil Corp. and ExxonMobil Development Co., citing pregnancy discrimination.

According to the complaint, Taylor was employed as a security intelligence analyst by subcontractors of ExxonMobil Iraq from January 2012 to December 2013, which made her an employee of ExxonMobil Iraq, supporting the defendants' West Qurna 1 oil field project.

Taylor says she worked primarily from an office in Dubai, traveling to Iraq on four occasions in the first 18 months of work, but primarily worked from her room on those occasions. The complaint states Taylor learned she was pregnant in July 2013 while on leave in the United States and emailed her supervisor, Allen Moorcroft, who assured her she could delay her return date in order to see physicians in the U.S.

Taylor says despite these assurances, Moorcraft notified her two weeks later that the company might have issues paying someone who was unable to deploy to Iraq, as the company had a strict policy preventing pregnant employees from entering Iraq due to inadequate medical facilities.

Taylor says she requested her position be reorganized to be based in Dubai or the U.S., but her supervisors declined the accommodation, despite the fact that most of Taylor's work could be done from anywhere. The complaint states Moorcroft promised to extend her employment as long as possible, and she continued to work from Dubai.

According to the lawsuit, ExxonMobil cancelled Taylor's contract in December 2013, and Taylor returned to the U.S. on Jan. 1.

The defendants are accused of pregnancy discrimination. Taylor is seeking back and front pay, compensatory and punitive damages, attorneys fees, interest and court costs.

She is being represented in the case by attorneys Charles H. Peckham and Mary A. Martin of Peckham PLLC in Houston and Jack B. Jarrett of The Spiggle Law Firm PLLC in Arlington, Va.

Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas case number: 4:14-cv-02881

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