ST. LOUIS – A St. Clair woman is suing her former employer claiming wrongful termination and alleging discrimination based on her sex and pregnancy.
According to the suit filed on Sept. 27 in St. Louis County Circuit Court and later moved to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Irina Pruteani claims that she was wrongfully terminated by her employer, Team Select Home Care of Missouri and Algonquin Nurses Home Health Care, on Aug. 16, 2017.
She says she received a notice of right to sue from the Missouri Commission on Human Rights on April 18 and a right to sue notice from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on May 2.
Pruteani alleges that the defendants created intolerabl working conditions and a hostile environment in which to work, and that her pregnancy was a motivating factor.
On the date she was terminated, Pruteani claims that defendants' administrator, Heather Sessions, told her that she was being discharged due to "excessive absenteeism due to her pregnancy," in spite of the fact that her job performance "had always been good and she had received no criticism prior to her discharge."
Pruteani further claims that Sessions had a "discriminatory" attitude toward pregnancy and related disability after being informed that she was pregnant and was ordered to bedrest by her physician.
"Furthermore, manager Sessions specifically expressed discontent about being required to do any work because of any employee’s maternity leave," the suit claims.
Pruteani claims she has lost wages, benefits and medical expenses, as well as suffered vocational-professional losses in the form of a detrimental job record, loss of employment, career damage and a diminished career potential. She further claims mental distress in the form of embarrassment, humiliation and anxiety.
In addition to seeking a permanent injunction enjoining her former employer from engaging in discriminatory practices, Pruteani seeks reinstatement to her position, judgment in actual and exemplary damages, and costs and expenses of the lawsuit.
She is represented by Richard A. Gartner of the Gartner Law Firm in St. Peters.