The Women’s Law Project has joined Stember Cohn & Davidson-Welling, LLC, in a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit brought by a former UPMC employee who was fired for failing to return to work within two weeks after childbirth.
Plaintiff had been working as a bank teller when UPMC offered her a full-time administrative position registering patients at UPMC hospitals. Plaintiff was visibility pregnant during her job interview, disclosed her pregnancy, and was assured that the imminent birth of her child would pose no problem if she took the job. With this understanding, she quit her bank job and, in her eighth month of pregnancy, immediately started working for UPMC. When her daughter was born earlier than expected, Plaintiff believed her job was safe, her future with UPMC was bright, and she would return to work after her maternity leave. Instead, UPMC fired her without warning based on a policy about which she was never informed.
Plaintiff alleges in her lawsuit that the UPMC policy under which she was fired violates the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act because it has a disparate and discriminatory impact on pregnant and post-partum women, among other claims. She seeks damages for lost wages and emotional distress, and an order prohibiting UPMC from applying its discriminatory policy against pregnant or post-partum employees. Plaintiff’s lawsuit is also based on UPMC’s failure to disclose its policy during the recruitment process, when she disclosed her pregnancy and inquired about maternity leave.
The case, Threets v. UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, is pending in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.
Stember Cohn & Davidson-Welling is a Pittsburgh law firm devoted to the protection and advancement of employees’ workplace rights. The Women’s Law Project (WLP) is a public interest law center with offices in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The WLP’s mission is to create a more just and equitable society by advancing the rights and status of women throughout their lives.