Private pre-school sued for terminating employee on maternity leave

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Mar. 18, 2013, 12:13pm

HOUSTON - A Katy woman has filed suit against a private pre-school and daycare facility, claiming it fired her for taking maternity leave. 

In recent court documents filed March 7 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas, Crystal M. Harrison accuses TDNGUYEN INC., doing business as Kids R Kids Quality Learning Center #32 TX, of discriminating against her because she exercised her rights under the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993.

KRK hired Harrison as its director of operations in September 2005.

The suit shows Harrison filed a written request for the aforementioned maternity leave on Jan. 16, 2012, for time off between Feb. 13, 2012, and April 11, 2012.

She received approval on Jan. 17, 2012, the suit states.

According to the original petition, KRK e-mailed the plaintiff a week before her scheduled return to notify her that her position "is no longer available and there is no room at the front desk at this time."

The defendant was "forced to fill the position," the suit says.

Harrison alleges the school replaced her with a woman who had her baby a week before she did, claiming the defendant offered incentives and a promotion to management for the latter's early return to work.

"The defendant discriminates against pregnant employees by forcing them to return to work early or face termination," the suit says.

"The defendant's actions of discrimination and retaliation were committed knowingly and intentionally against the plaintiff."

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney W. Craft Hughes of Hughes Ellzey LLP in Houston is representing Harrison.

Case No. 4:13-CV-602

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