Woman Says BBC Punished Her for Pregnancy

     (CN) – A former office assistant in the BBC’s Miami, Fla. bureau says in a lawsuit that an offer of a full-time position was rescinded after she informed a supervisor that she was pregnant.
     In a complaint filed in Miami-Dade County last week, Angie Miranda Chavez says she started working in the BBC’s Miami office in October 2013, earning about $14,000 as a part-time office assistant.
     Throughout her tenure with the BBC, Chavez says, she consistently received praise for her job performance and was given additional responsibilities. In June 2014, she says, she was promoted to a temporary full-time position with an annual salary of $30,000, and that when the assignment ended, she was given a permanent full-time position.
     Then, in October 2014, Chavez found out she was pregnant. She says she immediately told her supervisor Lillet Heredero, and this led to a request for her to meet with John McPherson, the BBC’s director of finance and operations in North America, to discuss “a few changes” the international news service was contemplating.
     During the meeting, Miranda claims that McPherson complimented her job achievements, but then told her BBC News was eliminating her position, and that they were looking for somebody with more experience to fill other available positions..
     “McPherson didn’t explain what had changed but Angie understood this comment to be directed towards her pregnancy,” the complaint says.
     Chavez says she confronted McPherson regarding her wrongful termination because of her pregnancy; but that he denied her claim and said “at the BBC we are good people, or at least I am.”
     The complaint says that after Chavez met with McPherson he told her that “even though the BBC had no obligations to offer any severance payments and could simply terminate [her] at will, the BBC would pay her three months’ pay in exchange for a signed Separation Agreement and General Release.”
     Chavez says she refused to sign the agreement, and even though she tried to continue her work for the BBC, she didn’t feel comfortable anymore due to the hostile environment.
     She seeks compensatory and punitive damages on claims the BBC violated the Florida Civil Rights Act.
     Chavez is represented by Michael James Corey from Obront Corey PLLC in Miami, Fla.
     The BBC did not respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.