Pediatric nurse claims discrimination because of pregnancy

Kelly Holleran Apr. 23, 2012, 8:00am

A Jefferson County woman claims she lost hours and her health insurance benefits after she announced her pregnancy to her co-workers.

Jeana Norton filed a lawsuit March 30 in Jefferson County District Court against Advanced Pediatric Care.

In her complaint, Norton claims she had been working for Advanced Pediatric as a full-time nurse for two years before she announced her pregnancy in September 2011.

Immediately following her announcement, Norton alleges her hours were cut because she was considered a "high risk."

"From September through November 7, 2011, defendant only allowed plaintiff, a full-time nurse, to work a part-time schedule," the suit states. "When plaintiff pleaded with defendant for more hours, defendant once again told her that she was a high risk."

Finally, in November, Norton states she brought in a note from her doctor, saying that she was permitted to work her normal hours, but not allowed to lift, the complaint says. Still, Advanced Pediatric refused to increase her hours and even took away Norton's health insurance benefits, she claims.

Norton alleges sex discrimination under the Texas Labor Code and says her employer discriminated against her on what it perceived to be a disability.

Norton seeks reinstatement to her prior position, back pay and front pay, compensatory damages, exemplary damages, attorneys' fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Kenneth W. Lewis and Stephen L. Townsend of Bush Lewis in Beaumont will be representing her.

Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. B192-251

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