A former Amazon employee who says she has a bowel condition accused the company of firing her for taking too many bathroom breaks

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A former Amazon employee who says she has a bowel condition accused the company of firing her for taking too many bathroom breaks
The June lawsuit was filed in New Jersey Superior Court. Pascal Rossignol/Reuters
  • A former Amazon warehouse employee said she was fired after taking too many bathroom breaks.
  • Maria Iris Jennitte Olivero filed a lawsuit, which said she suffered from irritable bowel syndrome.
  • In the lawsuit, Olivero accused her manager of firing her before she could get a doctor's note.
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An Amazon warehouse employee who said she had irritable bowel syndrome said the company fired her as retaliation after she took too many bathroom breaks.

Maria Iris Jennitte Olivero filed a case in June in New Jersey Superior Court, seeking damages. Earlier this month, Amazon responded in US District Court, attempting to escalate the case to federal court.

Olivero's lawyer and Amazon didn't respond to a request for comment.

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Olivero's filing in New Jersey included a timeline of her employment at the company. She started in July 2020.

According to the filing, when she told a manager in November about her IBS and that she needed to use the bathroom up to six times a day, the manager told her to get a doctor's note. It appeared from the filing that Olivero didn't get the note.

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Olivero then said in the filing that in January her manager said she was going to be written up, and that she'd need to get a doctor's note within five days. But the first available appointment at her doctor was six days later, according to her complaint.

Five days after she was written up, she was fired, according to her complaint.

"At that time, [Olivero] was informed by [her manager] that it was 'too late' to provide a doctor's note and that she was being terminated by Defendants," the complaint read.

She's suing the company for discriminating against someone with a disability and failure to accommodate under New Jersey's Law Against Discrimination.

Olivero didn't specify in her lawsuit how much she'd seek in damages. But Amazon said she was expected to be seeking more than $75,000, one of the reasons it sought to move the case to federal court.

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As part of its argument as to why the case should be moved to federal court, the company also detailed Olivero's wages.

"Plaintiff earned $15.25 per hour, or $31,720.00 annualized, and received a $0.60 per hour shift differential, or $1,248.00 annualized. Therefore, at the time of this filing, plaintiff's purported gross lost wages to date are $17,251.75," the company's lawyers wrote.

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