Former EA at Amazon sues after being sacked ‘for picking the kids up from school’

Rachel Shafner was EA to Amazon’s Australian director of operations when she claims she was dismissed for asking to leave early to collect her kids from school while her husband was in hospital. Shafner was a few weeks away from having worked at the tech giant for a year—which would have qualified her for flexible work arrangements.

“I would much rather work as best as possible than have to take carer’s leave for an unknown period of time due to my family obligations,” Shafner said in her request.

Shafner is now suing Amazon for $274,815 in damages, claiming the company discriminated against her because of family responsibilities.

The court application outlines Amazon’s alleged misconduct, “Amazon knew that Ms Shafner would likely request paid carer’s leave in the event a flexible working arrangement was not implemented. Amazon knew that Ms Shafner would become entitled to request a flexible working arrangement by about 4 September. The applicant’s employment was terminated on 5 September.”

A spokesperson from Amazon refuted the in a release to the public, claiming that “these allegations are untrue. As this matter is before the court, we are unable to comment further.”