Kasey Schefflin-Emrich Jul. 7, 2015, 1:39pm


PITTSBURGH - A Wexford woman is suing her former employer, alleging civil rights violations.

Jessica Perry of Wexford failed a lawsuit June 16 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, alleging wrongful termination.

According to the complaint, Perry was discriminated against because of her gender and pregnancy, a violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The lawsuit states Perry was employed by UPMC Presbyterian Hospital for more than five years, her most recent position being a neurophysiology technician in which she was required to travel to hospitals in western Pennsylvania and communicate with her supervisors by cell phone.

According to the suit, Perry always received positive work performance evaluations but when she informed her employer that she was pregnant in September 2014, she was treated differently in such that she wasn't allowed to take bathroom breaks and her co-workers expressed concerns about her maternity leave and post-pregnancy plans.

The civil action states Perry was fired Oct. 27 because she was late for a shift roughly two weeks earlier and allegedly used her cell phone to play solitaire. The suit says Perry only used her cellphone to contact her supervisor, and that non-pregnant employees who have been late for shifts were only written up and not fired.

Moreover, even if Perry did use her phone for non-work purposes, the lawsuit states, non-pregnant employees with her same job title who have used their cell phones while on the job have only been given verbal warnings.

The plaintiff alleges as a result of defendant's reckless indifference to her federally protected rights, she has suffered humiliation, mental distress, inconvenience, plus lost wages and benefits.

Perry seeks reinstatement, lost wages and benefits, front pay, compensatory and punitive damages, attorney fees and court costs, and other relief deemed appropriate by the court. Additionally, she demands UPMC Presbyterian Hospital be prevented from discriminating or retaliating against her. She is represented by attorney Samuel J. Cordes of Samuel J. Cordes & Associates in Pittsburgh.

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania case number: 2:15-cv-00787-DSC.

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