Pregnancy was reason for woman's termination, suit alleges

Kelly Holleran Sep. 14, 2011, 1:43am

A Shiloh woman claims she lost her job because of her pregnancy.

Penelope Blaylock filed a lawsuit Sept. 1 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Community Living Options also known as Freeburg Terrace, Angela Wiley and Dan Renschen.

In her complaint, Blaylock alleges she worked for Freeburg Terrace when she found out she was pregnant.

On Feb. 25, 2010, Blaylock called her supervisor, Renschen, complaining of feeling ill because of her pregnancy, according to the complaint. She asked for permission to take the day off, the suit states.

However, Renschen refused to allow Blaylock to call off, saying she did not have sufficient sick time to do so, the complaint says. In addition, he told her "that merely being pregnant was not justification for calling off work," the suit states.

Although Blaylock claims she did work on Feb. 25, she complained to Renschen that she did not feel she was being treated fairly. The following day, Renschen terminated her for alleged insubordination, according to the complaint.

"Defendant terminated Plaintiff because of her pregnancy and/or her gender in violation of the Illinois Human Rights Act," the suit states. "Defendant terminated Plaintiff in retaliation for her complaint that she was being discriminated against because of her pregnancy with regard to the terms and conditions of her employment in violation of the Illinois Human Rights Act."

Blaylock alleges Freeburg Terrace and its employees discriminated against her, causing her to lose wages and benefits and experience emotional pain and suffering, the suit states. In addition, Blaylock experienced mental anguish, suffered from public humiliation, lost her enjoyment of life, sustained embarrassment and suffered damage to reputation, the complaint says.

In addition to Freeburg Terrace and Reschen, Blaylock names Wiley as a defendant because she was an administrator at the facility at the time the incident occurred.

In her six-count complaint, Blaylock is seeking a judgment of more than $300,000, plus attorney's fees, costs, punitive damages and other relief the court deems just.

Sean K. Cronin of Belleville will be representing her.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-491.

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