Does AOL CEO Tim Armstrong have an issue with pregnant employees? Well, that's what Valleywag is wondering. To recap, Armstrong caused a stir last week by shifting the company's 401(K) payment schedule to a year-end lump sum—because, he said, AOL has had to pay big bucks to "two AOL-ers that had distressed babies." He undid the changes Saturday amid a shockwave of bad press, but it seems Armstrong's issues with pregnancy go back the days when he was Google's VP of national sales.
In a 2005 lawsuit, former Google worker Christina Elwell alleged that Armstrong fired her after medical issues with a pregnancy prevented her from traveling for a "few weeks." Armstrong had promoted her to a top sales-director position and publicly praised her work, but in the month she lost two unborn children, Armstrong demoted her. He then fired her and rehired her for a lower-level position that she hated, and she was discharged from Google, according to the suit, the Wall Street Journal reports. Elwell apparently got a decent settlement from the company via arbitration that left both parties unable to discuss the matter publicly. See her lawsuit at Valleywag. (Read more Tim Armstrong stories.)