CHARLESTON – A former Tim Hortons employee is suing because she claims her employment was terminated because she was pregnant.

L&S Coffee, Inc. and Beverly Lasater, an employee at Tim Hortons, were also named as defendants in the suit.

On Aug. 15, 2009, Theresa Ann Norwalk, of Putnam County, began her employment with the defendants, according to a complaint filed May 5 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Norwalk claims she discovered she was pregnant on Feb. 26, 2010, and informed Lasater two days later.

In March 2010, Norwalk made a request to the defendants to switch shifts because of the lifting requirements during the overnight shift and Lasater eventually transferred Norwalk to the morning shift, according to the suit.

Norwalk claims upon transferring her to morning shift, Lasater began to reduce her hours.

During March 2010, Norwalk suffered nausea and other pregnancy-related symptoms and also had to miss work because of a pregnancy-related doctor's appointment, according to the suit.

Norwalk claims Lasater issued a disciplinary notice against her for pregnancy-related matters such as going to the bathroom and going to the doctor.

On April 4, 2010, Norwalk called her employment to obtain her schedule for the week and spoke with the assistant manager, who informed her that she was not on the schedule for the following week and had been instructed to contact Lasater, according to the suit.

Norwalk claims she contacted Lasater to ask her why she was not on the schedule and was told that "it was not working out and to come back after the baby was born."

Lasater discharged Norwalk "due to availability to work her normal schedule because of condition," according to the suit.

Norwalk claims her pregnancy was the condition and that her employment was terminated because she was pregnant.

The defendant also failed to pay Norwalk her final employment wages within 72 hours, according to the suit.

Norwalk is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. She is being represented by Todd S. Bailess and Joy B. Mega.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Charles E. King.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 11-C-728

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