Nurse sues employer claiming termination due to pregnancy lifting restrictions

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Oct. 31, 2011, 4:58am


MARSHALL - An African-American pregnant nurse has filed a lawsuit against her employer claiming she lost her job after provided her employer with a doctor's note stating that she could not lift more than 50 pounds.

Claiming violations of her civil rights and violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Jackie Lewis filed suit against Senior Living Properties, doing business as Overton Healthcare Center, on Oct. 25 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

Lewis was employed by Overton Healthcare Center in Overton since September 2004 as a certified nursing assistant.

On Aug. 15, she informed her employer of her pregnancy, according to the lawsuit. Lewis states she had been to the hospital that day and could not report for work. She also missed work on Sept. 1 due to complications of her pregnancy, but claims she submitted the proper excuse from her doctor.

Ten days later, she was reassigned to a position which would require lifting on her part.

As a result, she submitted a note from her doctor limiting her lifting to no more than 50 pounds. The next day, Lewis' employment was terminated, according to the lawsuit.

In the suit, Lewis claims that in the past non-African-American pregnant employees and other workers who had suffered workers compensation injuries had been granted light duty work. She alleges she was discriminated against because she was an African-American pregnant woman.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for lost wages, insurance benefits, emotional pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental pain and anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, punitive damages, emotional distress, embarrassment, disappointment, indignation, shame, despair,

Lewis represented by Tyler attorney William S. Hommel Jr.

A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge David Folsom is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-00460

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