Complications with her pregnancy forced Carmen Bickham to leave work early. She says her employer, Industrial Apparatus Service Inc., told her never to come back.

Claiming she was unfairly fired for being pregnant, Bickham is suing Industrial Apparatus for sex discrimination. She is seeking back pay, plus interest.

According to her original petition, filed with the Jefferson County District Court on June 18, she was hired by the defendant to perform clerical duties on Sep. 20, 2006.

"On Dec. 2, 2006, plaintiff learned that she was pregnant," the suit said. "After plaintiff informed defendant that she was pregnant, comments were made by her immediate supervisors that Bickham's pregnancy would adversely affect (her work). On Dec. 6, 2006, plaintiff had a minor pregnancy related complication, and had to leave work for the remainder of the day. On Dec. 6, 2006, plaintiff was fired because she was pregnant."

Bickham is also suing for front pay in an amount to make her "whole," emotional pain, inconvenience, mental anguish and loss of benefits.

"Plaintiff would further show that the acts and omissions of defendant complained of herein were committed with malice or reckless indifference to the state-protected rights of the plaintiff," the suit said. "In order to punish defendant for engaging in unlawful business practices and to deter such actions in the future, plaintiff also seeks recovery from defendant for exemplary damages as provided by the Texas Labor Code."

She is represented by attorney Steve Parkhurst of the Dies, Hart & Parkhurst law firm.

Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th Judicial District, has been assigned to the cae.

Case No. B179-516

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