Rachel Rickert, 27, says she was fired by Hyundai from representing them at the New York International Auto Show simply because she got her period while on the job — and now she has filed a federal discrimination complaint.
On April 13, the second day of the auto show, Rickert claims she worked for three hours greeting guests at the booth before she was allowed to take a bathroom break. She didn’t reach the bathroom in time to change her tampon and inadvertently soiled the Hyundai uniform she was given: black dress and black tights.
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.”
“She (Seifred) 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 told the New York Post. “I’m not going to let someone tell me I can’t have my period when I work. It’s unacceptable.”
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 April 15, Seifred 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.”
“They just act like we’re not human,” she added.
Although Rickert expected to make about $5,000 from the show, she said she wasn’t paid for her time.