Fired woman loses pregnancy discrimination suit against Progressive Business Publications

By Chandra Lye | Jan 9, 2019

ALLENTOWN - A Pennsylvania federal judge has granted a motion for summary judgment in a discrimination case against Progressive Business Publications. 

“Notwithstanding that Plaintiff appears to only be pressing a pretext theory of discrimination, we similarly cannot find that she has the evidence to support a finding of racial discrimination under a mixed motives analysis,” the Jan. 2 court decision stated. 

Judge Curtis Joyner authored the decision. The plaintiff, Sheaunte Stewart, claims she lost her job because of her race. However, the court disagreed.

“By virtue of her inability to attain the minimum sales threshold and her failure to produce evidence demonstrating a nexus between Ms. [Dorothy] Scollon’s alleged racial bias and her decision to terminate Plaintiff’s employment, the necessary showing has not been made. For these reasons, we are constrained to grant Defendant’s motion and enter summary judgment,” the court decision noted. 

According to the court decision, the situation arose in July 2016 when Stewart was offered a job as a telemarketing sales representative for Progressive Business Publications. She was six months pregnant at the time. 

The first few days of training went off without a hitch, according to the court filing. However, “following a brief office birthday party, Plaintiff testified that Ms. Scollon ‘pulled her to the side’ and ‘said that it looked like I was due any day, like I was about to drop.’ Plaintiff told her that she wasn’t due to have her baby until October, but Ms. Scollon said she didn’t believe her,” the court decision said.

Scollon sent her home early that day and unfortunately, Stewart was hit by a car and didn’t show up to work for about three days. Scollon called her to let her know that things were not going to work out. 

Stewart then filed her lawsuit in September 2017 “alleging that Defendant’s failure to retain her as an employee was a result of pregnancy and gender discrimination,” the court filing stated. 

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