Housekeeper claims sex discrimination

Steve Gonzalez Aug. 7, 2006, 9:30am

A former housekeeper at the Harrisburg Care Center who claims she was fired because she was pregnant filed a civil rights complaint in federal court.

Dawn Keith alleges she was discriminated against because of her gender and pregnancy.

Three days after she was hired at the care center on April 26, 2005, Keith claims she just learned she was pregnant and was bleeding.

According to the complaint, Keith was scheduled to work on April 29, 2005, but her doctor told her she needed to come in for an exam.

Keith claims she called her supervisor and told her that she could work part of her shift, but her boss told her to take the day off.

Keith claims the next day, her boss called and told her husband that it was in her best interest not to come to work because of her condition, however Keith was given a release from the doctor to return to work, so the supervisor allowed her to return.

According to Keith, when she showed up for work, another supervisor told her that she could not clock in and that she no longer had a job and she needed to return her keys.

"Defendant terminated plaintiff on that date because she was pregnant," the complaint states.

Keith claims she has lost wages and suffered mental anguish and emotional distress plus legal expense as a result of her alleged wrongful termination.

"Defendant's conduct was done with evil motive or reckless indifference to Keith's protected rights not to be discriminated against because of her sex, or on account of her condition of pregnancy, and is conduct for which an award of punitive damages is warranted," the complaint states.

Represented by Richard Whitney of Carbondale, Keith is seeking damages in excess of $75,000, plus a court order reinstating her position.

The case has been assigned to District Judge James Foreman.

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