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Activist fired from job alleges retaliation, discrimination

Philadelphia residents expect to be able to keep their work lives separate from their other pursuits. In some contexts, such as government jobs, it is illegal for an employer to fire or retaliate against an employee for a political view that they hold. However, in the private sector employees aren't always afforded the same protection.

A recent case from another state made news last week when an activist was fired from her job at a medical technology company. She says that the company had a pattern of gender discrimination and workplace harassment, and that she was fired about two weeks after making an initial complaint to a supervisor about it.

Her attorney told reporters that in addition to being discriminated against in the workplace, that the woman was ultimately fired because of her work as a breastfeeding activist and photographer.

A photo she took became famous earlier this year because it depicted two service members breast-feeding in their uniforms. The military took disciplinary action against the women, saying that no members of the military can wear a uniform while promoting a cause, selling something, or pushing an ideology. Since that policy is strictly enforced across the ideological spectrum, it is unlikely that those women have a claim against the military for discrimination.

The activist's former employer says that she was fired for reasons not related to her ideology.

The woman says that when she initially spoke with a supervisor about the harassment and discrimination issues in the office, he told her not to file a formal complaint and that she was fired shortly after that. The woman's attorney said that they are considering pursuing a lawsuit against her former employer for gender discrimination.

Source: Yahoo! "Woman Behind Controversial Military Breastfeeding Photo is Fired from Her Civilian Job," Lylah M. Alphonse, June 15, 2012

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