Housekeeper Alleges Socialite/Producer Couple Fired Her For Getting Pregnant

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A woman who worked as a housekeeper for a former New York socialite and a film producer in Los Angeles is suing the pair, alleging she was wrongfully fired in 2019 after she became pregnant and sought accommodations.

Sara E. Rodriguez's Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit names as defendants Lilly Lawrence and Douglas Banker. The complaint filed Tuesday alleges wrongful termination, discrimination, failure to prevent discrimination, retaliation and failure to provide meal and rest periods.

Rodriguez seeks unspecified damages.

According to published reports, Lawrence is the daughter of a former Iranian oil minister and goddaughter of the late Aristotle Onassis, the billionaire shipping magnate who married President John F. Kennedy's widow, Jacqueline. The philanthropist formerly lived in New York and was given the nickname the "People's Princess" and the "Rose of Shiraz" by the media there.

Rodriguez was hired as a housekeeper by Banker and Lawrence in April 2018 and her hourly wage for her weekday job was $15, the suit states.

Rodriguez says she told Banker and Lawrence in December 2018 that she was pregnant and that her doctor told her she had to be careful when lifting anything heavy. Banker reacted to the pregnancy news by making fun of Rodriguez and saying that she "must be having twins" given her weight, the suit alleges.

Banker also was upset when Rodriguez asked for time off for medical appointments, according to the lawsuit, which alleges he fired her in January 2019 after being told she had poisoned the defendants' dog. Rodriguez believes the real reason she lost her job was because she got pregnant and asked for accommodations for her condition, the suit states.


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Banker and Lawrence also did not tell Rodriguez she was entitled to 10 minute work breaks for every four hours worked and she missed such rest periods about five times weekly, according to the suit, which also alleges she was not given all of the uninterrupted 30-minute meal periods she should have received.

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