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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 April 2019

Former Netflix executive alleges she was fired for being pregnant

The ex-employee filed a lawsuit against the streaming company this week

A former Netflix employee has filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming her contract was terminated after she revealed her pregnancy. AFP
A former Netflix employee has filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming her contract was terminated after she revealed her pregnancy. AFP

A former Netflix executive has claimed the streaming platform terminated her employment after learning she was pregnant.

In a lawsuit lodged against the company in Los Angeles on Tuesday, ex-international originals division manager Tania Zarak alleges she was fired shortly after announcing she was expecting in November 2018.

Zarak, who had worked for Netflix since mid-2018, claimed in her complaint that she was cut out of meetings, her responsibilities were reduced and she was "generally shunned". The executive also alleged she was "secretly removed from shows", and "belittling" comments were made about her appearance.

Around a month later, court documents state Zarek went to Netflix's HR department, where she complained about her "mistreatment". During a subsequent meeting with her supervisor, Francisco Ramos, Zarek claims he was “visibly agitated” that she was due to give birth and take maternity leave. Just 24 hours later, her contract was terminated, the lawsuit alleges.

Court documents make multiple references to the “Netflix Culture", a set of values and policies presented to prospective employees. Those policies claim that Netflix employees may take up to a year off as maternity leave, but that it looks unfavourably upon anyone who takes up the offer, Zarek alleged.

Netflix has not yet responded to the suit, Variety reports.

Updated: April 3, 2019 01:52 PM

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