In April of 2010, the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky heard a case involving a woman and her pregnancy discrimination and Retaliation claims. (See Thompson v. Next Tek Finishing, LLC, 2010 WL 1744621 (W.D.Ky.)). The pregnant Plaintiff alleged that she was terminated after she told her boss that she was pregnant. Plaintiff initially filed in state court but it was then removed up to federal court. Id.
Plaintiff in her Louisville pregnancy discrimination case alleged pregnancy discrimination in violation of the Kentucky Civil Rights Act. Id. “To successfully plead the cause of action, a plaintiff must allege four elements: 1) that she is a member of a protected class (i.e. that she was pregnant), 2) that she suffered an adverse employment action, 3) that she is qualified for the position, and 4) that a similarly situated employee outside her protected classification was not subject to the adverse action.” (cites omitted). Id. Defendant argued that the complaint did not allege that anyone outside the plaintiff’s protected class was treated any better than she was. Id. To this argument the Court did not agree.
The Court did agree with the defense argument that “the plaintiff has not stated a claim for discrimination based on its treatment of the plaintiff while she was still employed.” Id. Plaintiff did not allege any acts of how she was treated differently while she worked for the defendant. Id. Plaintiff’s work environment while she worked there after she told defendant that she was pregnant did not change. Thus, the Court dismissed this count “insofar as it attempts to allege that the plaintiff suffered from discrimination while she still worked at the firm.” Id. The Louisville pregnancy discrimination lawyer that Plaintiff had could not continue on this count and on many others.
The second count alleged common-law wrongful discharge. Id. The Kentucky civil Rights Act preempts the common law in this area. (cites omitted). Id. “Thus the plaintiff’s action will lie only under the statutory framework, and the common-law claim must be dismissed. Similarly, we must dismiss count C (for intentional infliction of emotional distress) because KRS Chapter 344 preempts IIED claims arising out of the same events as an employment-discrimination claim.” (cites omitted). Id.
The Court also agreed with the defense that pregnancy does not constitute a “disability” within the meaning of KRS Chapter 344. Id. Courts in this area have consistently state that pregnancy is not a disability. Id. Pregnancy is not a disability with the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Id. (Call and speak to a Louisville pregnancy discrimination lawyer to find out more on this topic).
As to the final count, the pregnancy retaliation count, the Court dismissed this claim as well. Plaintiff alleged that she was fired in retaliation for complaining about the way she had been treated after announcing her pregnancy in violation of KRS 344.280. Id. But, ‘retaliation’ is only illegal if it comes “because the plaintiff has opposed a practice declared unlawful by this chapter.” Id. The predicate is that Plaintiff has to allege that there was an illegal practice for the aggrieved plaintiff to oppose under this chapter. Id. In the case at hand, plaintiff could not and did not allege that the defendant did anything unlawful by this chapter. Id.
If you have been the subject of a Louisville pregnancy discrimination and retaliation matter, please call and speak to a Louisville pregnancy discrimination and retaliation lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew S. Alitowski at 888-ASK-ANDREW (275-2637) or contact us online. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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