Model Rachel Rickert has filed a federal discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), claiming she was fired by Hyundai while representing the company at the New York International Auto Show simply because she got her period while on the job.
Rickert, 27, claims that on the second day of the auto show, on Apr. 13, she worked for three hours greeting guests at the booth before she was allowed to take a bathroom break. But she didn’t reach the bathroom in time to change her tampon and inadvertently bled through onto the Hyundai uniform of black dress and black tights that she had been given.
She says she spoke to her talent rep, Erika Seifred, about the incident and requested a change of clothes. But according to the EEOC complaint, the client wanted Rickert to take the night off due to her “period situation.”
“I’m not going to let someone tell me I can’t have my period when I work. It’s unacceptable,” Rickert told the New York Post.
Rickert said she wanted to continue working since models are paid by the hour, but she was allegedly told to go home. On the morning of Apr. 15, Seifred allegedly called the model and said she was being let go.
“She called me and pretty much told me that Hyundai didn’t want me representing them anymore at the show because they got word of my menstrual cycle,” Rickert noted. “You’re not a robot. You have to use the bathroom, especially when you’re on your period.” She added, “They just act like we’re not human.”
A Hyundai rep told the New York Post they it had yet to receive an EEOC filing regarding the issue. “We take any complaint like this seriously and will respond appropriately once we have a chance to investigate the merits of the claim,” the rep noted.
Although Rickert expected to make about $5,000 from the show, she said she hasn’t been paid for her time.
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