Unfortunately, this case is not unusual.
Heather Myers was fired from her job at a Wal-Mart store in Salina, Kan., for keeping a water bottle nearby...At her orientation a year earlier at Wal-Mart, she says employees were told they could keep water “but no juice or pop” in a sealed container while working. Suddenly that policy “changed out of the blue” during her pregnancy, she says.
Myers was working as a sales floor associate in the infant and girls wear departments in 2007, when she was pregnant with her first child. Her duties at Wal-Mart included keeping the area stocked and putting away returns. She always had a shopping cart at her side where she could stash her water bottle, she said.
Her supervisor said Myers needed a doctor’s note if she wanted to continue having a water bottle on the job, so she complied. That wasn’t good enough. The manager told her drinking fountains were available...Myers said...“You can’t properly hydrate just by taking a sip at a water fountain.”
She continued to carry her water bottle in a cart while she restocked shelves and took care of returns. At her next appointment, her doctor brought up the issue of water and ended up writing yet another note. By this time, Myers was suffering from urinary tract infections, so drinking a plentiful amount of water had become even more crucial for her health.
The second note went to HR, but in another day or so she was confronted by the same manager, who told her, “Either the water bottle has to go or you have to go.”
She contacted an attorney, who sued the retail giant on her behalf. “They just thought I was a young girl they could push around,” Myers said. “They didn’t think I would stick up for myself and my baby.”
The case was settled out of court.