A former employee sues Tidal for alleged pregnancy discrimination
In a new lawsuit, a former female employee is suing Tidal for pregnancy discrimination. The plaintiff, Lisette Paulson, claims the subscription music service terminated Paulson the day after she requested a private room for breast pumping. Paulson claims that conflicts with management began in September 2015, very soon after she had her baby and resumed work at the company as a full-time employee.
Paulson claims that she tried to discuss her various postpartum needs with Tidal’s chief operating officer, Deiree Perez. The two reportedly discussed Paulson’s occasional need to work from home, her salary, situation in the office, and the need for a private room to breast pump, and throughout their discussion, Paulson claims she was repeatedly pressed by Perez over whether she “had to do this?” and asked if she could pump in the bathroom, instead.
According to Paulson, despite assuring her that Perez would speak with human resources about accommodating her needs, the very next day she learned that she’d been fired when chief financial officer Joe Burrino told her to leave a meeting, as she was no longer employed. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Paulson’s alleged experiences constitute pregnancy discrimination, or discriminating against female employees on the basis of their needs during and after pregnancy.
The EEOC specifically notes on its website that “nursing mothers may also have the right to express milk in the workplace under a provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.” The Patient and Affordable Care Act additionally mandates “reasonable time to express breast milk in a private location, free from intrusion and shielded from the view of the public or other employees, at the time necessary to express breast milk.”
Tidal (founded by Jay Z, Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Madonna, Kanye West, Arcade Fire, Chris Martin, and Rihanna) has yet to comment on the lawsuit, but if Paulson’s allegations are true, the lawsuit certainly hurts the credibility of proud feminists Beyoncé, Keys, and Rihanna.
Earlier this month, Tidal was also sued by Prince’s estate regarding streaming rights to the recently deceased musician’s work. The complaint claimed that Tidal wasn’t authorized to distribute Prince’s last album as well as the rest of his work. Prince’s Hit n Run Phase Two was released exclusively on Tidal back in December 2015, but Prince went on to pull all of his music from streaming sites.