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Nicole Miller

Designer Nicole Miller sued for ‘anti-pregnancy bias’ discrimination

Designer Nicole Miller is being sued after a former employee accused her of pregnancy discrimination.

The former employee said that the fashion designer took and “unsympathetic and truly reprehensible disposition” when Miller found out that the high-level employee was 20 weeks pregnant, according to a report by Daily News.

The suit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, says that after Wendy Simchi-Levi, 34, told her boss that she was pregnant with twins, the woman immediately began to act rudely towards the employee. Miller asked the woman, who was hired in July, if she had known that she was pregnant during the interview. The designer also made a comment that Simchi-Levi wouldn’t want to return to work after her children were born.

“The disdain in Ms. Miller’s voice was impossible to miss.”

Miller snubbed Simchi-Levi after she found out her newly hired employee was pregnant. She wouldn’t even address the woman personally during meetings. Semchi-Levi’s coworkers reportedly told her “Nicole hates you.”

The employee’s office was moved not long after that. She alleged that the move made it harder for her to complete her job coordinating the Nicole Miller brand with clothing manufacturers.

A delay in November was blamed on Semchi-Levi, who claimed that it was Millers fault. She alleged that Miller only blamed her because of the contempt she had towards her employee.

When Semchi-Levi ended up having to stay for a long hospital visit, the company allegedly “coerced” her into taking unpaid maternity leave when the employee wanted to return to work.

Semchi-Levi gave birth a month later on January 1. She received a letter of termination, which said that she was fired because of “ongoing performance issues from last year.”

The letter said that it was aware that the termination had poor timing with Semchi-Levi’s personal situation.

Semchi-Levi’s attorney, Douglas Wigdor, said that Miller’s treatment of her pregnant employee was uncalled for.

“As a successful fashion designer and businesswoman herself, it is disgraceful that Ms. Miller would treat a dedicated and loyal employee who was pregnant with such disdain.”

[Feature Photo: Amy Sussman/Invision]