Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Sep. 21, 2012, 3:57pm

SHERMAN - A Dallas woman has filed a lawsuit that claims her employer subjected her to discrimination by terminating her while she was out on approved maternity leave. 

Kristina Brown filed suit against Crossmark Inc. on Sept. 18 in the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division.

Brown was hired by the defendant as a project administrator on October 2008.

In June 2011 Brown claims she notified her supervisors that she was pregnant and that she would need to take maternity leave during late winter or early spring of 2012. The company approved her request, according to the suit.

She alleges that following her request, she was subjected to retaliatory conduct by the company, which is accused of deliberately creating a hostile work environment.

According to the lawsuit, in September 2011, she was demoted to the position of survey designer.

Ten days before her schedule medical leave, Brown was placed on a 45-day “Performance Improvement Plan.” Brown left for maternity leave on Feb. 8 and was scheduled to return on May 2.

While on maternity leave, she was notified that she was terminated from the company and would not be considered for any other position, according to the plaintiff.

The defendant is accused of violating Brown’s civil rights and the Family and Medical Leave Act.

The plaintiff is asking the court to issue a permanent injunction to prevent further discriminatory practices and for an award of damages for back pay, reinstatement or front pay; loss of earnings; loss of earning capacity; loss of benefits; compensatory damages; punitive damages; attorney’s fees; interest; and court costs.

Brown is represented by Dallas attorney David M. Curtis.

A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Richard A. Schell is assigned to the case.

Case No. 4:12-cv-00596

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