Gordon & Rees Atlanta partner Chad Shultz and associate Paul Chichester won a jury trial where a plaintiff sued her former employer and the firm's client, a rehabilitation center that is part of a nationwide healthcare system, alleging pregnancy discrimination under federal and Florida civil rights laws and Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) interference and retaliation. Plaintiff worked at the rehabilitation center location as a nursing assistant and provided care to the residents of the facility.
After three years of employment, plaintiff was terminated for poor patient care that arose on the day she left work to give birth. Plaintiff asserted that the incident for which she was terminated was not her fault and was merely a pretext to terminate based on her pregnancy status and request for leave. Defendant maintained its position that plaintiff’s termination, while unfortunately timed, was entirely lawful.
Initially, the Court denied defendant’s motion for summary judgment based on the poor timing of plaintiff’s termination and her denial of wrong doing. Fortunately, after a three day trial, the eight person jury unanimously found in favor of defendant on all counts.