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New York Auto Show Model Claims Hyundai Fired Her for Having Her Period

The complaint could lead to a discrimination lawsuit in federal court.

A model working with Hyundai at the New York International Auto Show in April claimed that she was fired from her post after she got her period at work, according to The New York Post. 

According to the Post, 27-year-old Rachel Rickert was told by her agent Erika Seifred on April 15 that she had been let go.

Hyundai heard about Ms. Rickert having her menstrual cycle and they didn’t want Ms. Rickert representing the company anymore,” Rickert’s complaint filed to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said, according to the Post.

Rickert claimed that she welcomed guests to the Hyundai station at NYIAS 2017 for three hours on April 13 before being given the okay to use the bathroom. According to Rickert, she wasn’t able to make it to the bathroom quick enough to switch her tampon.  

“I’m not going to let someone tell me I can’t have my period when I work. It’s unacceptable,” Rickert said to the Post.

After that happened, she informed Seifred that she would have to change out of her now-stained Hyundai clothing, according to the Post. But her agent informed her that Hyundai instead just asked for her to take the rest of the day off because of her “period situation,” the complaint said, according to the Post.

Rickert was upset by this request because she was getting paid by the hour and had intended on working more. Two days later, Seifred told Rickert that she had been fired. 

“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 said to the Post. “They just act like we’re not human. I’m not going to be ashamed or shamed of having my period.”

According to the post, Rickert claimed that she has not received any of the $5,000 she had thought she would make at the auto show. 

The complaint could lead to a discrimination lawsuit in federal court.

“We take any complaint like this seriously and will respond appropriately once we have a chance to investigate the merits of the claim,” a Hyundai spokesperson said to the Post.

UPDATE (June 1, 9:20 a.m. EST): A Hyundai spokesperson has issued The Drive the following statement:

“After conducting an initial investigation, it is clear that Rachel Rickert was let go as a Hyundai brand ambassador at the New York Auto Show strictly as a result of her poor performance. She was hired as a contractor by a third party vendor and was not representing the company in a professional manner with colleagues and guests of the Hyundai auto show booth.

 Hyundai has still yet to receive a complaint from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, but will be contesting it vigorously and will be continuing to investigate the situation.”