BOSTON (CBS) – A drug saleswoman for Cubist Pharmaceuticals is suing the Lexington antibiotics maker for denying her the 13-week paid maternity leave the company offers other biological mothers because her twins were delivered via a surrogate.
Kara Krill argued in her complaint that her inability to carry babies to term is a disability — and she is being discriminated against compared to other mothers without the disability.
Krill says in her suit, filed in U.S. District Court, that human resources executives told her she was only eligible for five days of paid leave after the twins’ birth because she did not need to physically recuperate from the delivery.
Cubist offers fathers and adoptive mothers five days.
Krill asserts that because she has a Pre-Birth Order signed by a judge in Pennsylvania attesting to the fact that the twins are her biological children, she should enjoy the same rights as other biological mothers.
She further claims she was verbally harassed by a Cubist executive and punished professionally.
Krill’s lawyer couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Cubist declined to comment.
Andrew Pickett, an attorney at employment law firm Jackson Lewis, who is not involved with the case, said maternity leaves are often funded by short-term disability plans and that without giving birth herself, Krill may not qualify as being disabled.
Lisa van der Pool of the Boston Business Journal reports
“Adoptive parents often choose that route because of reproductive problems, so it doesn’t seem that there is a meaningful difference between adoption and her situation,” Pickett said. Employers in Massachusetts are not required to provide paid maternity leave, but must provide unpaid leave under state and federal law.