Pregnant woman misses doctor's appointment, sues employer after losing baby

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Apr. 1, 2010, 3:54am

SHERMAN-Seven months pregnant with twins, doctors considered Natalie Schroeder's pregnancy high risk. She was required to see her physician and a specialist frequently with the appointments taking roughly an hour each time.

Although her employer spent seven months accommodating those requests, her supervisor wanted her to finish a report and forced her to miss an appointment. Three days later, Schroeder went into labor, delivering one healthy daughter and a stillborn son.

Schroeder alleges that if she would have been allowed to make her doctor's appointment, there would be a chance that her son's fetal distress would have been recognized and his death prevented.

Alleging pregnancy discrimination, Natalie Schroeder filed suit against Advanced Neuromodulation Systems Inc., and Ross Stephenson on Feb. 10 in the 366th Judicial District of Collin County. The defendant removed the case to the Sherman Division of the Eastern District of Texas on March 24.

A few weeks after returning to work from her maternity leave, Schroeder was terminated from her position as senior accountant. According to the complaint, Schroeder was told she lost her job because she used the words "stupid black man" and made remarks critical of the Muslim religion.

The plaintiff states that she did not make those remarks and that she was fired within five hours of the human resources department receiving the complaint. She claims an investigation was not conducted.

Schroeder alleges her termination was really in retaliation for a complaint she made about other employees using inappropriate language.

The plaintiff claims the defendants' actions violated the provisions of the Texas Labor Code, Title VII, Equal Pay Act and the Family Medical Leave Act.

Schroeder is seeking damages for lost compensation and benefits in the form of back pay, front pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages and attorney's fees.

Dallas attorney Karen K. Fitzgerald of the law firm Kleiman Lawrence Baskind Fitzgerald LLP is representing the plaintiff. Jury trial requested.

U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider is assigned to the litigation.

Case No 4:10cv00131

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