An Upper Marlboro woman has filed a discrimination lawsuit against Safeway after she was not hired for a job as a cashier, allegedly because she is a mother.
Jacqueline C. Rodriguez claims that when she interviewed at the supermarket’s Brandywine location in October, the recruiter specifically asked how many children she has. The mother of four also was asked how she would balance work with her children, according to the lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Prince George’s County Circuit Court.
Rodriguez called to follow up the next day and was told the recruiter wrote “not recommended for hire” on her application, according to the lawsuit.
Rodriguez had “more than 15 years of managerial experience working with large corporations,” according to the lawsuit.
A labor relations manager for Safeway also told Rodriguez that asking prospective employees about their familial status was not part the questionnaire, according to the lawsuit.
Craig Muckle, manager of public affairs for Safeway’s Eastern Division, denied the allegation.
“Whether a candidate has children or the number of children they have are not a consideration for employment at Safeway,” said Muckle, who declined further comment because the litigation is pending.
Rodriguez seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. She is represented by Jimmy A. Bell, an Upper Marlboro solo practitioner.
Neither the federal Civil Rights Act nor Maryland law bars employers from considering familial status in their hiring decisions, Bell said. However, the practice is prohibited in Prince George’s County as well as Howard and Montgomery counties.
The case is Jacqueline C. Rodriguez v. Safeway Inc., #CAL14-34193, Prince George’s County Circuit Court.