A records assistant has filed a discrimination lawsuit against Gastroenterology Group, accusing the medical corportation of firing her because she was pregnant.

Alleging violations of the Civil Rights Act, Lindsay C. Vanas filed the lawsuit June 4 in federal court in New Orleans. Vanas says she informed her supervisors at Gastroenterology Group that she was pregnant when she was hired as a medical records assistant but claims she was fired four months later because of her pregnancy and impending maternity leave.

"At all times during her pregnancy, plaintiff was qualified to perform her job duties and intended to return to her job after the birth of her child and six weeks maternity leave," the lawsuit reads.

Vanas says her employment at Gastroenterology Group was terminated March 10, 2009 by a supervisor who was concerned Vanas' health could be compromised by the pregnancy, resulting in potential problems for the entire practice. Vanas says the company offered a letter of recommendation, a week of severance pay and encouraged her to collect unemployment benefits.

Vanas says the stress of losing her job caused her to have premature labor pains that required hospital care.

According to court records, Gastroenterology Group replaced Vanas with a new employee that was not pregnant.

The plaintiff argues that her former employer's actions constitute pregnancy discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law.

Vanas is seeking damages for back pay, front pay, pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, inconvenience and humiliation, general damages, loss of income and/or earnings potential including benefits, attorney fees, cost and interest.

New Orleans attorneys Darrin Forte and Tiana Christopher of Garrison, Yount, Forte & Mulcahy are representing Vanas.

U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv01648

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