Woman sues Albertson’s for losing baby

June 28, 2013

lawsuitAn Atascadero woman filed a lawsuit against Albertson’s accusing the company of forcing her to do strenuous labor which caused her to lose her baby.

Rayna Garcia was working as the stores general manager and her duties required heavy lifting.

This lawsuit says the heavy lifting forced Garcia into labor when she was only 20 weeks pregnant. The baby died shortly after it was born.

The suit contends Albertson’s management repeatedly denied Garcia’s requests for accommodation. Garcia kept her job because she needed the income and the health insurance, the lawsuit says.

A court date has been set for late October.


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Since when are women supposed to carry heavy things at work? Are men not protecting women at work?. What a bunch of sissys.

I was at Osh’s hardware store in Templeton and bought about 8 cartons of chlorine. I ask the checker to please ask someone to help me carry the ctns. out to the car. I’m old and pathetic looking so she immediately called someone. A lady started loading the boxes into the shopping cart. I told her no, please stop lifting those heavy boxes. She stopped and looked at me funny and said yes I can do it but I told her You may be able to do it but not my stuff. I reached over and started loading the boxes myself. After a few seconds a great big guy came out to me and ask me if he could help me? I told him yes so where were you when we first needed the help? He was one of the checkers.

I told him it was his responcibility as a man to help women. Tell them you will carry the load when they need help. The checker that had checked me out said to me, thanks for what you did, come to my checkstand when you shop here will you? I thought for a second she was putting the make on me then I noticed my reflection in the mirror and realized I was old and pathetic so moved on without embarrassing myself.

I hope she wins a whole lot of money. God Bless

Well, we can speculate all we want, but in a case like this, it’s probably best to let the judicial system do it’s job. In any case it’s a terribly sad incident.

I am sorry Ms. Garcia lost her baby. If lifting heavy objects was part of her job description, and she therefore requested accommodation, but was denied. The State of California has such strict employment laws. Why wouldn’t she go to her doctor explain the situation her doctor would place her on sick leave. I know the State will not allow an Employer to terminate an Employee because they are pregnant. I think they might even class this as Sexual Harassment. It sometimes takes an act of God to terminate an Employee.

With the number of Employees Albertson’s hires they would not have been able under State Law to terminate this pregnant woman, or take away her health insurance. Nah… seems to me there is more to this than meets the eye….

Pardon me for wondering, but since when do general manager’s ever need to lift anything heavy? Aren’t there non-pregnant employees constantly around to delegate duties too? Didn’t she have authority to delegate? Something’s just not right from the get-go here.

“Forced” her to lift? Why not just refuse, based on her pregnancy, then let the store take action – then, there’d be a case. I think the term “forced” is over-used here, and that sends up red flags to intelligent people, usually.

This whole thing stinks, from what little I was able to glean from the few facts of one side that has been presented here.

If I was fleshing out the “forced” complaint, it would be in the sense of being forced under the threat of losing her job to do activities that put her pregnancy, and the employee herself, at risk.

I would hope she has some documentation from her employer stating she would lose her job if she did not perform the heavy-lifting duties of her job.

If the evidence indicates that the most likely cause of the miscarriage was due to strenuous physical demands and if her attorney can prove she requested accommodation several times and was denied then she has a case. I assume this is civil court and therefore the court only requires preponderance of evidence. If you don’t like that good luck trying to change tort law.

Just consider how many women have been legitimately advised by their doctors to stay in bed, to not lift heavy items during pregnancy.. I understand the woman’s need to work and to remain covered by health insurance.. I don’t see an obvious mean spirit from the woman who lost the child. If i were on the jury I would listen and then judge. from this article we know almost nothing,,,,,

You have to think big picture here. What you are talking about is potentially a store being held for wrongful death of a baby–meaning millions of dollars. Does an employer employing an employee really take on that risk? Employers now have to take over the pregnant employee’s brain and decide what she’s capable of rather than the employee herself? Are employers supposed to hire a physician to oversee their pregnant employees?

And my whole point is whatever happened to personal responsibility in this country? This isn’t a minor, this is an adult. Why didn’t she say no I’m not going to lift that or do that work? She’s just a brainless automaton who does what she’s told and Albertsons runs her pregnancy for her?

Employers have to make accommodations for disabilities. .

Employers have to make accommodations for disabilities. .


You didn’t answer anything by saying that. This woman was 20 wks pregnant not disabled. I’ve seen women 20 wks pregnant working out in the gym 4 nights a week. Is the gym going to be responsible now too?

As an employer, if this pregnant woman is bringing in $40,000 of value a year to your business and you stand to get hit with a multi-million dollar judgment for her miscarriage by keeing her on the job–a judgment that is not covered by workers compensation for which you already pay exorbitant premiums, what are you going to do with her?

She did not want to lose her job and health insurance. We don’t know the facts of what happened in this case. It doesn’t matter how big a store is or how much training they have had because the store in run by people, and supervisors are just like the rest of society. Some are great and some are rotten. If she presented a doctor’s note and her supervisors behaved in ways that made her think she better not complain, then she has a good case against them. If she had no note and never complained and has no justifiable reason for continuing to do things she shouldn’t have, then no case.

Albertson’s is notorious for treating employees badly; maybe not a huge number of them like WalMart does, maybe not as noticeable, but due to the manner in how the store manager (director) was (maybe still is?) awarded their bonuses, abuses of employees seemed to be part of the culture of management. In the past, and maybe still today (I don’t know for sure), the bonus for the manager was based on how little percentage of sales could be spent on payroll; think about that for a second- if the corporate office is telling the store manager that they will get more money as a bonus when they spend the least possible amount of dollars on paying employees, what do you expect will happen? Workers in the past were encouraged to work “off the clock” in violation of union contract and federal wage guidelines, workers would be systematically “shorted” on their pay (not getting paid for every minute worked, not getting premium pay for special contract agreements, etc.) and many times workers would have their scheduled promotions in pay rate delayed for a short while or even longer. To the store managers in the past, this was mostly all a “game” to them, shorting pay would have to made up later, but in the immediate fiscal quarter their bonus was enriched due to circumventing the rules; and even on occasion when a store manager was really egregious in their screwing over the employees, a group of employees would go to the union and file multiple complaints and initiate a claim against the company. This case here sounds like the corporate culture of Albertson’s has not changed one bit and I would not be surprised if their bonus program has not changed even though the company has been admonished repeatedly over the years by judges in court during cases involving labor disputes. Their history is not a stellar example of how to treat employees with respect and recognition; I hope Ms. Garcia sues the companies pants off.

Bob, you’re sure making a lot of accusations (maybe true or not) which have zero to do with this lawsuit. Shouldn’t we wait for the facts to come out in court before passing judgment?

The accusations I have leveled would only go to show a repeating pattern of behavior by the company; if the company regularly “abuses” the employees by trying to short them pay by either not paying for time worked or at the correct rate, the company would seem to have no issue with having an employee do job duties that they should not be doing. Pattern of abuse; I hope the plaintiff’s attorney does do research to show the history of this company in how they treat their employees. And since I have had first hand experience with this company in exactly the manner I described, I know that they have done this in the past, although it was a very long time ago.

Why should Bob do anything different from what is normally done here?

All over the internet, on message boards, posters routinely read an article, form an opinion based on the article, and then post their opinion. That is why organizations have “comment” sections following the article.

What do you expect people to comment on? A recipe for banana-nut bread? Of course not. In fact, many message boards have rules that urge the posters to post only on the topic of the article.

If we were to wait for “facts to come out in court before passing judgment,” there would be no reason for a comment section at all at the end of an article because if everyone followed your directions, the only thing they would post was “I’m going to wait until this case goes to court before I form an opinion.”

Did you post about John Ryan Mason, the Psycho Firefighter, before the case went to court? One heck of a lot of people did. That is because it is normal behavior on message board systems with “comment” sections to do so.

And if we would have waited for the “facts” to come out at trial, we would have only had the “facts” that the prosecutor and defense attorney wanted to enter into the trial record. Since John Ryan Mason was found “not guilty” by the jurors, using your directions, the only thing we could have then posted, even after the “facts” were stated in the trial, was that John Ryan Mason was not guilty.


And that ladies and gentleman is exactly why we shop local at Cookie Crock

says the heavy lifting forced Garcia into labor when she was only 20 weeks pregnant.


Good luck proving that one.

Women lose babies all the time–without heavy lifting.

Couldn’t have been nature. Couldn’t have been the mother’s body doing it. Had to be Albertsons that did it.

And the trend in America of everyone blaming someone else for their problems continues at full speed.

The U.S. is a sue-happy society. Seems even more so in California.

I’m not sure that a case needs to made “proving” that her work contributed to her baby’s death; in our court system, the term “reasonable doubt” is usually the standard. Was this only due to the woman’s particular pregnancy, or was it possible that her work was a contributing factor in her baby’s death? Reasonable doubt is much more likely to be found if the company cannot explain why she was required to perform such strenuous work, even though she most likely gave notice that she was pregnant. Never over estimate how a case will be decided in a court of law ….

Actually, reasonable doubt applies only to criminal cases. For civil cases such as this, then the standard is, “preponderance of the evidence” which is even easier for the plaintiff to prove.

Hum, something I didn’t know. Thanks.

…and yet you espoused so much on it. Something to think about.

Bottom line is that it’s going to cost us all a bunch of money no matter which way it turns out.

Costing US a bunch of money? How? This is an individual suing a private company, not a government agency; what do you mean, please.

Well, first off, either way it’s factored into the cost of the groceries, Secondly, who do you think pays for the court and the judge and all the related court employees? If she wins or loses, it costs Albertson’s money and they just past the costs along. You may not see it just from this case, but living in a litigious society costs us all plenty.

Employers have to make accommodations for protected disabilities. If the employer did not make accommodations for the plaintiff’s pregnancy, and insisted she continue to do heavy-lifting activities despite her pregnancy or lose her job, then the employer could very well be found, in civil court, to be the cause of her miscarriage.

If Rayna had a doctor’s note about needing accommodations, then I hope she gets everything she asks for.