A former Netflix executive sued the company on Tuesday, alleging that she was fired after she announced her pregnancy.
Tania Zarak worked in 2018 as a manager in Netflix’s international originals division. After she disclosed her pregnancy in early November, she said she found herself cut out of meetings. She alleges that her supervisor, Francisco Ramos, began to ignore her communications, and made deprecating remarks about her appearance.
She also alleges that Ramos secretly removed her from a show she was working on, about a Mexican-American singer. She alleges that Ramos also excluded her from a critical meeting regarding a remake of a Mexican teen musical telenovela.
Zarak complained about this treatment to HR. Later that day, she alleges that Ramos called her in for a meeting to discuss the situation. During the conversation, Zarak sought to reassure him that she would be able to work during the pregnancy. Ramos then asked her when her due date was, according to the suit. She said she was due in May and would then be taking maternity leave, the suit states.
According to the suit, Ramos became “visibly agitated,” and began to talk about how it would be no big deal if she left the job. He also suggested she accept some sort of payout with insurance, the suit states.
The next day, Ramos called her into a meeting with an HR employee and told her “Tania, we’re here because I’m letting you go,” the suit states.
After Ramos left the room, Zarak told the HR employee: “This is because I’m pregnant.”
The suit makes several references to the “Netflix Culture,” a set of values and policies presented to prospective employees.
“Netflix’s policies and public portrayal of its culture were a deceptive marketing tool in her case,” the suit alleges.
The suit also claims that Netflix has indicated that employees may take up to a year off to care for newborn children, but that it secretly retaliates against anyone who takes up the offer.
A Netflix spokesperson said the claims lack merit.
“We have previously looked into these claims and determined they were unfounded,” the spokesperson said. “Netflix works hard to ensure that employees with families, or who are starting a family, have the flexibility and support they need.”