Lucasfilm Faces New Accusation of Pregnancy Discrimination

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Old 11 November 2012   #1
Unhappy Lucasfilm Faces New Accusation of Pregnancy Discrimination

You can read this sad new at:

Vfx Soldier

The hollywood reporter

shame
 
Old 11 November 2012   #2
Utterly shameful behaviour!
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Old 11 November 2012   #3
hopefully obamacare can make these things a non-issue in the future
 
Old 11 November 2012   #4
Unless the US has recently anexed Singapore, and someone forgot to send the memo, I dont see how that is applicable.
The company might be American, but this happened in the Lucasfilm Singapore office.
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Old 11 November 2012   #5
I've worked with Luis, he's a talented guy.
Crazy story, but not uncommon in any industry to see abuse regarding pregnancy.
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Old 11 November 2012   #6
The story is pretty appalling. Luis and I used to work at the same studio and he always seemed like a decent chap, so it sucks to hear of his terrible misfortune.

But at the same time, I'm hesitant to raise a pitchfork until hearing the other side of the story. It may well be a case of a huge misunderstanding.
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Old 11 November 2012   #7
Originally Posted by leigh: It may well be a case of a huge misunderstanding.


Particularly in such a large organization. Hopefully we get some form of follow up.
 
Old 11 November 2012   #8
I'm reading this article going, "Yep, been there" right up to the terminated part. Dealing with complications during pregnancy is enough stress. I hope it works out for him.
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Old 11 November 2012   #9
Originally Posted by leigh: But at the same time, I'm hesitant to raise a pitchfork until hearing the other side of the story. It may well be a case of a huge misunderstanding.


What can lucasarts remotely say to justify even 1% of such acts.

-The fact that they provide NO pregnancy coverage in their health insurance is a huge problem already. Wouldn't this be a problem for any employee at some part of their lives? How can they think such low standards are ok?

-The fact that they terminated him right when he left the country to tend for his wife without any warning or notice. How are they going to explain that?

Even if you assume all the rest is an exaggeration (which we can also assume it's not), you can't take away those two facts.

The only other option would be that Luis is just posting complete lies about something that never happened in one of the biggest companies in the world. Yeah, that's a lot more likely...
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Old 11 November 2012   #10
For what it is worth, apparently other people had similar experiences before. This is only second hand knowledge so I take it with a huge piece of salt but it is a little sad that these type of rumors exist.

-k
 
Old 11 November 2012   #11
Good to see his story getting some attention (Hollywood Reporter etc.). Hopefully a public shaming will force companies to realize that saving a few bucks on things like health care isn't worth getting your name dragged through the mud. Eventually bad press like that will be felt in the bottom line as well.
Good luck Luis! And congratulations on the baby too...
 
Old 11 November 2012   #12
Originally Posted by leif3d: -The fact that they provide NO pregnancy coverage in their health insurance is a huge problem already. Wouldn't this be a problem for any employee at some part of their lives? How can they think such low standards are ok?


The fact is that most health insurance policies don't cover maternity care as standard. Look this up, it's a well documented aspect of health insurance. I feel a lot of people are overlooking this, which is why I said this could be chalked up to a misunderstanding; that is, an assumption on Luis' part that he'd be covered. And that's an easy mistake to make, and indeed in this case has had devastating financial consequences.

-The fact that they terminated him right when he left the country to tend for his wife without any warning or notice. How are they going to explain that?


For me, this is the more pertinent issue in the story. But even so, we have not heard one side of it. Please understand, I am not taking Lucasfilm's side here, but I do think that people are being a little too quick to raise their pitchforks and torches here when we have only heard one side of this story. Yes, it's really shitty to get fired with no explanation and to have your pay withheld - it's inexcusable behaviour from a personal perspective but at the same time, it appears that they were within their legal right to do so. If anything, instead of having a go at Lucasfilm here, people should be having a go at employment laws that allow people to be terminated at an apparent whim.

Anyone who has worked in the visual effects field, with its fixed term contract hiring policies, has probably encountered early termination at some point, and it sucks. It really does. But instead of getting angry at individual studios, we should be getting angry at the laws which facilitate this type of employment practice.
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Old 11 November 2012   #13
While I mostly agree with you, leigh, I have little to no respect for those who will use the law like this. I understand they can legally terminate a contract, but the fact that it is not illegal doesn't make it any less morally inexcusable. Just because they can (legally) fire you with no reason, is specially f*cked up they do it to avoid assisting a person in a pretty complicated and special situation like this. I'm not defending the legal side though, I think there's a bunch of rules and laws that only protect corporations and those in the "power" side of business and that sucks. But then, there has to be a person in particular executing this actions and that's what makes me sick. Can you imagine a mother/father holding a human resources position deciding to terminate a contract because someone went abroad trying to take care of an employee's sick wife? That's inexcusable.

I do agree with hearing both sides of the story though, but still, I would not be surprised if every detail in this story is actually true.
 
Old 11 November 2012   #14
Originally Posted by leigh: The fact is that most health insurance policies don't cover maternity care as standard. Look this up, it's a well documented aspect of health insurance.
I'll have to question you here. Are you speaking internationally? I've only experienced the US side but maternity was always covered, that's for 4 kids in 2 different decades.
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Old 11 November 2012   #15
Originally Posted by leigh: The fact is that most health insurance policies don't cover maternity care as standard. Look this up, it's a well documented aspect of health insurance.

It might be common for individually purchased health insurance. In fact, hospitalizations in general are usually not covered in most insurance plans, but it's inexcusable that such a profitable company takes so little pride and care of the workers that make them hundreds of millions.
These kinds of practices will only hurt more experienced and/or family oriented workers, favoring people in their early 20's. This has more consequences than just health insurance.

Originally Posted by leigh: The fact is that most
For me, this is the more pertinent issue in the story. But even so, we have not heard one side of it. Please understand, I am not taking Lucasfilm's side here, but I do think that people are being a little too quick to raise their pitchforks and torches here when we have only heard one side of this story. Yes, it's really shitty to get fired with no explanation and to have your pay withheld - it's inexcusable behaviour from a personal perspective but at the same time, it appears that they were within their legal right to do so. If anything, instead of having a go at Lucasfilm here, people should be having a go at employment laws that allow people to be terminated at an apparent whim.

Anyone who has worked in the visual effects field, with its fixed term contract hiring policies, has probably encountered early termination at some point, and it sucks. It really does. But instead of getting angry at individual studios, we should be getting angry at the laws which facilitate this type of employment practice.

I'm not really mad about early termination, that's a common practice. I'm more mad about early termination when your wife is having a complicated pregnancy that may affect her and your future child's life. They have to be real heartless to pull off such a stunt.
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