Texas woman files pregnancy discrimination lawsuit

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Nov. 20, 2011, 8:26am

TEXARKANA - A Texas woman claims the medical group she works for is violating the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act by firing female employees once it learned they were pregnant.

Ashley Shelton filed suit against Synergy Care Inc. on Oct. 11 in Titus County District Court. The defendant removed the case to the Eastern District of Texas, Texarkana Division on Nov. 7.

While employed at Synergy's Mt. Pleasant customer facility, Shelton learned that she was pregnant.

Shelton was placed on medical leave pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) on Jan. 19 when she was placed on bed rest indefinitely due to premature contractions. On Feb. 7, Shelton was fired via an email by her supervisor, according to the lawsuit.

Shelton claims Synergy hired another employee, Katy Shipp, in early 2011 and when the company learned that she was pregnant, she was also terminated, the suit alleges.

Synergy is accused of interfering with FMLA entitlements, violations of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The plaintiff is asking for an award of damages for lost wages, salary, employment benefits, or other compensation denied or lost, emotional pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, non pecuniary losses, punitive damages, interest and attorney's fees.

Shelton is represented by Sulphur Springs attorney Wade A. Forsman.

A jury trial is requested.

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

Case No. 5:11-cv-00199

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