Thomas Keller, French Laundry named in pregnancy discrimination lawsuit

Thomas Keller, French Laundry named in pregnancy discrimination lawsuit

| Oct 31, 2016 | Discrimination |

It is about a 90-minute drive from San Francisco to Thomas Keller’s acclaimed Napa Valley restaurant, The French Laundry. Keller and the eatery are both named in a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit recently filed by a former server.

The woman worked for five years at Keller’s New York City restaurant, Per Se, but asked to transfer to Napa Valley. After meeting with The French Laundry’s manager, who approved the move, the woman and her husband canceled their lease, bought a car, made California living arrangements and began shipping their belongings.

After moving here to begin and ready to start her new job on April 1, she was told the start-date was pushed back to April 4. When she showed up for the meeting, her lawsuit says, another manager began asking questions about her pregnancy and how long she might be expected to be out on maternity leave.

According to a newspaper report, she was soon told that the position at The French Laundry was not available any longer and that there were no other available positions. The woman says that there were actually three positions open at the famed Napa Valley restaurant.

Her lawsuit alleges fraud and deceit, a violation of pregnancy leave law, breach of implied contract, gender discrimination, wrongful termination, negligent misrepresentation and other violations of the California Family Rights Act and labor law.

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