Gainesville and Ocala Pregnancy Lawyers

COMPLAINT Plaintiff, VALARIE SONGARD, sues Defendant, ALCON MEDICAL CENTER (referred to herein as “Defendant”), and states as follows: 1. Plaintiff is a female and a Florida resident. 2. Defendant is an entity subject to suit under Title VII of Act of Congress known as “Civil Rights Act of 1992,” as amended, Fla. Stat. § 760.10. Defendant employs at least fifteen (15) persons. 3. Venue is proper in Alachua County, Florida and jurisdiction is proper in this Court. 4. All administrative remedies have been exhausted and all or conditions precedent have been met in order to file this lawsuit. 5. Plaintiff dual filed her charges with EEOC and FCHR, and FCHR (investigating on behalf of both entities) found in Plaintiff’s favor. See attached Exhibit. STATEMENT OF FACTS 6. Plaintiff worked for Defendant (a medical care facility) as a Nurse Technician. Plaintiff worked in Emergency Room with shift durations of 12.5 hours, often with no or very little time for meal or restroom breaks. 7. Early February 2011, Plaintiff learned she was pregnant and informed her manager, Sarah Garcia, shortly after. 8. In early March 2011, Plaintiff was hospitalized due to a complication with her pregnancy, Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Her doctor excused her absences from work for 3/8/2011 thru 3/21/2011. 9. During her excused absence, Plaintiff was contacted via e-mail by Defendant’s scheduling department available schedule for April 2011. No weekend or night shifts were available. 10. Plaintiff requested accommodation of a guaranteed 15 minute lunch break each 12.5 hour shift as a Unit Clerk, as it was crucial to her health. Plaintiff also requested, if this could not be guaranteed that she be able to be scheduled for a different position or a shorter shift. 11. On April 1, 2011, without warning or reprimand, Plaintiff was terminated from her employment with Defendant. Count I DISCRIMINATION IN VIOLATION OF FLA. STAT. § 760 et. seq. 12. Plaintiff, hereby, realleges allegations in paragraphs one (1) through eleven (11) above as if fully restated herein. 13. Florida Statutes §760.10(1) states in pertinent part: It is an unlawful employment practice for an employer: (a) To discharge or to fail or refuse to hire an individual, or orwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges or employment, because of such individuals race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap or marital status. 14. Plaintiff was discriminated against by Defendant in violation of Fla. Stat. § 760.10 on basis of her status as a pregnant female when she was subjected to adverse employment actions and harassing conditions. 15. Plaintiff was a member of a protected class because she was a pregnant female. 16. Plaintiff was qualified for her position at all times during her employment and at time of her termination, and was capable of performing essential functions of her position. 17. Plaintiff has been subjected to disparate treatment due to her pregnancy in terms and conditions of her employment as compared to or similarly situated non-pregnant females and/or male employees. 18. Defendant engaged in such pregnancy-based employment discrimination willfully, maliciously and with reckless indifference to Plaintiff’s rights. 19. As a result of Defendant’s discriminatory practices, harassment and unlawful termination, Plaintiff has suffered damages. WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgment against Defendant in form of economic damages, including back pay with pre-judgment interest, front pay or reinstatement, damages for emotional distress, humiliation, embarrassment and inconvenience, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and costs, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, and any or such relief that Court deems just and proper. COUNT II DISCRIMINATION IN VIOLATION OF PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION ACT 20. Plaintiff hereby realleges allegations in paragraphs one (1) through eleven (11) above as if fully restated herein. 21. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(k) reads in pertinent part: terms “because of sex” or “on basis of sex” include, but are not limited to, because of or on basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; and women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions shall be treated same for all employment-related purposes, including receipt of benefits under fringe benefit programs, as or persons not so affected but similar in ir ability or inability to work, and nothing in section 703(h) of this title shall be interpreted to permit orwise. 22. Plaintiff was discriminated against by Defendant in violation of Title VII as amended by PDA on basis of her pregnancy when she was subjected to adverse employment actions and harassment. 23. Plaintiff was a member of a protected class because she was pregnant. 24. Plaintiff was qualified for her position at all times during her employment and at time of her termination, and was capable of performing essential functions of her position. 25. Plaintiff has been subjected to disparate treatment due to her pregnancy in terms and conditions of her employment as compared to or similarly situated non-pregnant employees. 26. Defendant engaged in such pregnancy-based employment discrimination willfully, maliciously and with reckless indifference to Plaintiff’s rights. 27. As a result of Defendant’ discriminatory practices, harassment and unlawful termination, Plaintiff has suffered damages. WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgment against Defendant in form of economic damages, including back pay, pre-judgment interest, post-judgment interest, front pay or reinstatement, damages for emotional distress, humiliation, embarrassment and inconvenience, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and costs, and any or such relief that Court deems just and proper. Count III RETALIATION IN VIOLATION OF FLA. STAT. § 760 et. seq. 28. Plaintiff, hereby, re-alleges allegations in paragraphs one (1) through eleven (11) above as if fully restated herein. 29. Fla. Stat. §760 prevents retaliation against pregnant persons whom complain about being treated differently because of her pregnancy. 30. Plaintiff was retaliated against by Defendant in violation of Fla. Stat. §760 on basis of her status as a pregnant female when she was subjected to adverse employment actions and harassing conditions in response to her complaints about her reduced work hours. 31. Plaintiff was a member of a protected class because she was a pregnant female. 32. Plaintiff was qualified for her position at all times during her employment and at time of her termination, and was capable of performing essential functions of her position. 33. Plaintiff has been subjected to retaliation due to her complaints about unfair treatment to pregnant persons in terms and conditions of her employment as compared to or similarly situated non-pregnant females and/or male employees. 34. Defendant engaged in such pregnancy-based employment retaliation willfully, maliciously and with reckless indifference to Plaintiff’s rights. 35. As a result of Defendant’s retaliatory practices, Plaintiff has suffered damages. WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgment against Defendant in form of economic damages, including back pay with pre-judgment interest, front pay or reinstatement, damages for emotional distress, humiliation, embarrassment and inconvenience, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and costs, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, and any or such relief that Court deems just and proper. COUNT IV RETALIATION IN VIOLATION OF PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION ACT 36. Plaintiff hereby re-alleges allegations in paragraphs one (1) through eleven (11) above as if fully restated herein. 37. PDA and Title VII prevent retaliation against pregnant persons whom complain about being treated differently because of ir pregnancy. 38 Plaintiff was retaliated against by Defendant in violation of PDA and Title VII on basis of her status as a pregnant female when she was subjected to adverse employment actions and harassing conditions in response to her complaints about her reduced work hours. 39. Plaintiff was a member of a protected class because she was a pregnant female. 40. Plaintiff was qualified for her position at all times during her employment and at time of her termination, and was capable of performing essential functions of her position. 41. Plaintiff has been subjected to retaliation due to her complaints about unfair treatment to pregnant persons in terms and conditions of her employment as compared to or similarly situated non-pregnant females and/or male employees. 42. Defendant engaged in such pregnancy-based employment retaliation willfully, maliciously and with reckless indifference to Plaintiff’s rights. 43. As a result of Defendant’s retaliatory practices, Plaintiff has suffered damages. WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgment against Defendant in form of economic damages, including back pay with pre-judgment interest, front pay or reinstatement, damages for emotional distress, humiliation, embarrassment and inconvenience, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and costs, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, and any or such relief that Court deems just and proper. DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL Plaintiff demands trial by jury on all issues so triable.