Jon Campisi Sep. 24, 2013, 9:36am


A Montgomery County woman is accusing a suburban Philadelphia ambulance company of discriminating against her during the course of her employment due to her pregnancy and other factors.

Samantha Miller, who resides in Roslyn, Pa., filed suit in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia this week against Plymouth Community Ambulance Association, its president, Frank Gallo, and the organization’s chief of operations, Thomas Trojansky, over allegations she was improperly terminated from her job after complaining about disparate treatment.

Miller, who was first hired by the ambulance association in April 2004 as an emergency medical technician and was later moved over to the position of billing coordinator, claims in her legal filing that she was subjected to discrimination and harassment on the basis of her pregnancy, and was eventually subjected to retaliation for making complaints about the treatment.

The plaintiff, who suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder and attention deficit disorder, maintains that the ailments affect her ability to concentrate, interact with others, learn and work. She claims in her suit that she began being treated differently from the moment she disclosed her disabilities to ambulance association officials.

Among other things, despite being promised at the time of her transfer to the billing department that she would be guaranteed one day a week working on the street as an EMT, something that would help her in her desire to get certified as a paramedic, Miller asserts the defendant refused to honor its assurances.

Miller also alleges she was treated differently upon her return from pregnancy leave from late February 2010 through late May of that year, offering as an example the ambulance association’s failure to honor its promise to aid the plaintiff in obtaining her medical command.

Then, in the summer of 2011, Miller informed the defendant that she was attempting to get pregnant once again.

The announcement occurred mere days before her June 16, 2011 termination, according to the complaint.

“After enduring longstanding discrimination and harassment on the basis of her pregnancy and disabilities, Ms. Miller complained to PCAA in writing regarding the discrimination and harassment she was being subjected to,” the lawsuit states. “Following her complaints to PCAA, Ms. Miller’s treatment got worse culminating in her termination … allegedly as a result of downsizing and outsourcing.”

The defendant’s proffered reason for Miller’s firing, the suit states, is “suspect” for various reasons, including its proximity in time to her complaints about discrimination and harassment, and the fact that the ambulance company didn’t end up downsizing or outsourcing.

Just before her firing, the company brought in another employee and had Miller train that person, the complaint states. That individual went on to perform tasks formerly performed by the plaintiff.

Miller, the complaint alleges, has suffered mental anguish and severe emotional distress as a result of her treatment and subsequent termination.

She has additionally suffered financial losses as a result of the defendant’s actions.

The defendants are accused of violating the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, The Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

Miller seeks reinstatement or front pay, lost wages and benefits, unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, attorneys’ fees and other relief.

The civil action was filed Sept. 23 by Philadelphia attorney James A. Bell IV of the firm Bell & Bell.

The federal case number is 2:13-cv-05548-MMB. 

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