Jon Campisi Feb. 20, 2014, 6:21pm


A Philadelphia woman claims in a newly filed civil suit that she was fired

last year from her job at an area medical practice because she was pregnant, the second such time she was canned by the agency.

Rozaliya Kravchenko, who resides in Northeast Philadelphia, is suing Philadelphia-based Hanger Orthotics & Prosthetics over her termination, which she claims was discriminatory in nature.

The plaintiff, her complaint shows, began working for the defendant in 2009 through a temp agency.

The company learned in July of that year that Kravchenko was pregnant and would require special accommodations, namely in the form of a closer parking space in the defendant’s lot.

According to the lawsuit, Kravchenko, who had been placed in a long-term position with the defendant after her interview with the temp agency, at first parked in a different lot, located at an apartment complex that was up the hill from the doctor’s office.

(The owner of the property where the office is apparently located did not like the defendant’s employees parking in the lot).

After a couple of weeks parking in the lot that was located on the hill, the plaintiff decided she needed a change since parking in that location took a toll on her feet, which were swollen and ached due to pregnancy, the complaint reads.

Kravchenko subsequently brought in a doctor’s note stating that she was under prenatal care and could not walk long distances, and while the building’s owner was OK with her parking accommodation request, the defendant said it was ending her employment assignment as she was not fit for a long-term position.

Around the same time, however, the plaintiff learned that the defendant was seeking an office administrator who was familiar with the work, so she submitted a resume.

Kravchenko believed she would be a good fit for the position since she knew the ins and outs of the job and would require no training, namely due to the fact that her father was a prosthetic practitioner with more than 40 years in the field, the lawsuit states.

During a Feb. 4, 2013, interview, Kravchenko was asked why she had stopped working for the defendant back in 2009, and when she stated the reason, a company higher-up reportedly said, “I’m surprised you didn’t sue us for that,” according to the complaint.

The job prospect looked good, the suit says, and the plaintiff was soon brought aboard.

Ultimately, however, problems arose after officials became aware that the plaintiff had once again become pregnant.

During her first day of work after being hired for the new position, Kravchenko reported that employees kept staring at her stomach area, something that she says made her feel very uncomfortable.

In a situation reminiscent of 2009, the plaintiff claims she began being treated differently because of her pregnancy.

On Feb. 13, 2013, mere days after she was hired, Kravchenko claims she received a phone call from the defendant’s staffing agency informing her that she was being terminated because she was “not fit” for a long-term position.”

“The Defendant’s discriminatory actions caused Plaintiff a great amount of stress and emotional distress, as Plaintiff was passionate about the position with Defendant,” the complaint states. “Plaintiff hoped to build a career from the position before she [was] unlawfully discriminated against by the Defendant.”

The defendant is accused of violating the Civil Rights Act and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

Kravchenko accuses the defendant of violating her civil rights when it terminated her and retaliated against her for engaging in protected activity.

“But for Plaintiff’s request to park closer to the building and her interactions with Defendant’s agents relating to her pregnancy, the Defendant would not have took an adverse employment action against Plaintiff,” the lawsuit states.

The suit also contains a count of intentional infliction of emotional distress, in which Kravchenko says she was psychologically affected by the defendant’s “extreme and outrageous conduct.”

The plaintiff seeks to have the defendant barred from discriminated against employees.

She also seeks unspecified company and punitive damages, damages for pain, suffering and humiliation, and costs and attorney’s fees.

The complaint was filed on Feb. 18 at the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by attorneys Timothy M. Kolman, Wayne A. Ely and W. Charles Sipio, of the Penndel, Pa. firm Kolman Ely P.C.

 

The federal case number is 2:14-cv-00962-JHS.

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