Pittsburgh woman alleges pregnancy discrimination
Updated: Jul 6, 2020
For immediate release
PITTSBURGH – A Pennsylvania woman has alleged that she was wrongfully terminated from her employment as a result of pregnancy discrimination.
According to a civil complaint filed in the Western District Court of Pennsylvania, Plaintiff Natisha Winbush was unlawfully terminated from her position with Adaptive Behavioral Services and discriminated against based on her high-risk pregnancy in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Specifically, Ms. Winbush learned of her pregnancy in mid-February 2019, and, soon after, was diagnosed with severe hyperemesis, a serious condition which led to the classification of her pregnancy as high-risk, according to the complaint. Ms. Winbush alleged that she was required to attend frequent medical appointments and was, at one point, hospitalized as a result of her pregnancy. According to the filing, she provided a doctor’s excuse to officials at Adaptive Behavioral Services each time she missed work for her appointments and resulting treatment.
Ms. Winbush’s immediate supervisor, Wilma Green, took issue with her required time off and constantly questioned the severity of her high-risk pregnancy, according to the complaint. On March 8, 2019, Ms. Winbush was unable to attend work due to a sudden hospitalization, and, despite her explanation of the urgency of the situation, Ms. Green marked her as a “no call, no show,” Ms. Winbush alleged. According to the complaint, on April 11, 2019, Ms. Winbush was summoned for jury duty, which caused Ms. Green to insinuate that somehow Ms. Winbush had control over the situation and wanted to miss more work, according to the filing.
Ms. Winbush alleged that when she returned to work the following week, Ms. Green told her that she would be required to work on a document filing project. According to the filing, it was around this time that she began to experience pressure in her abdomen – another symptom of her high-risk pregnancy. Despite doing all that she could physically endure the pain while filing the documents, it eventually became so severe that she needed to see her physician, according to the complaint. Ms. Winbush alleged that she was told by her doctor to stop lifting heavy objects, and, as a result, she relied on her coworkers to assist her with the filing project. According to the complaint, Ms. Green harassed her about this incessantly, and constantly reminded her that her coworkers were doing her work for her.
During this time, Ms. Winbush emailed manager Kevin Jordan and informed him of the challenges that she was facing with Ms. Green, but Mr. Jordan never responded, according to the filing. Ms. Winbush alleged that a few days later, Mr. Jordan gave her a written warning regarding her attendance, despite each absence being covered by a doctor’s excuse. According to the complaint, Ms. Green and Mr. Jordan refused to listen to her about the severity of her condition. Eventually, she was terminated from her position as a result of her absences, she alleged.
At no point did management inform Ms. Winbush of her right to take medical leave through the Family and Medical Leave Act, according to the filing.
Lead Attorney Prabhu Narahari asserted violations of Title VII, as well as FMLA and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act. Prior to the filing of the lawsuit, Ms. Winbush filed a complaint through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and was provided a right to sue.
Ruppert Manes Narahari is a Pittsburgh-based employment law firm representing workers who have been wrongfully terminated, harassed, or cheated by their employers. The firm also provides business law-related services and represents small businesses and entrepreneurs in startup, transactional, and litigation matters.
For more information on the claims made by Ms. Winbush against Adaptive Behavioral Services, contact the law office of Ruppert Manes Narahari at 412-626-5626.