Car dealer Hyundai has sacked a model for having her period at work. The model, responding to the discrimination, is taking legal action and suing Hyundai.
Rachel Rickert, 27, was representing Hyundai at the New York International Auto Show when, after hours of working without a toilet break, rushed to use the bathroom to change her tampon.
According to Rickert, she was unable to make it on time and requested a new uniform when she discovered her black dress and stockings were soiled. However, instead of receiving professional courtesy, she was told to leave work and go home.
The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint, targeting Hyundai and Experimental Talent, the agency who hired Rickert, outlines she had been at work on April 13 for three hours greeting guests before she was permitted a bathroom break. After being sent home, she then received a phone call saying Hyundai had fired her due to her “period situation.”
“She called me and pretty much told me that Hyundai didn’t want me representing them anymore at the show because they got word of my menstrual cycle,” Rickert told the New York Post. “I’m not going to let someone tell me I can’t have my period when I work. It’s unacceptable.”
“You’re not a robot. You have to use the bathroom especially when you’re on your period,” Rickert stated.
“They just act like we’re not human. I’m not going to be ashamed or shamed of having my period.”
Rickert had done around 50 convention shows at the Javits Center, however, she hasn’t been paid for any of the hours worked. She expected to earn $5,000 for the show before the unexpected dismissal. She protested leaving work because she was being paid by the hour.
Rickert’s management agent, Erika Seifred, said Rickert was dismissed for having her menstrual cycle and that Hyundai didn’t want her representing them anymore.
Hyundai has acknowledged Rickert’s situation but has said they’re yet to receive a filing from the EEOC. They stated that the company does take these complaints very seriously and will “respond appropriately” once the “merits of the claim” have been thoroughly investigated.