Woman says Wal-Mart fired her because of rough pregnancy

By Annie Cosby | Nov 5, 2014

NEW CUMBERLAND – A Hancock County woman is suing over claims she was fired because she needed time off to deal with a difficult pregnancy.

Chelsi B. Parr filed a lawsuit Oct. 6 in Hancock Circuit Court against Wal-Mart Associates Inc. and Linn Rocchio, citing wrongful termination.

According to the complaint, Parr interviewed for a job at the Weirton Wal-Mart in May 2013, when she informed the interviewer that she was pregnant but intended to return to work after the birth and she was assured she would be eligible for unpaid leave.

Parr says she began work as a cashier May 14, 2013, but in July 2013, she began experiencing conditions related to her late-term pregnancy, including Braxton Hicks contractions and pain. Parr says that because she was not allowed to sit at work, she missed several days due to these complications for which she supplied supervisors with a doctor's note.

The lawsuit states that in late July 2013 Parr determined she would need to start pregnancy leave, requested such from her supervisor, had the forms he gave her signed by her doctor and returned them to the human resources manager, Rocchio.

Parr says Rocchio informed her that Wal-Mart was refusing her leave related to the pregnancy and was instead terminating her employment July 30, 2013. The complaint states Rocchio gave birth to her daughter Aug. 27, 2013.

The defendants are accused of wrongful termination, violating the West Virginia Human Rights Act - sex discrimination, which encompasses discrimination based upon pregnancy, and disability discrimination, because an employer is required to modify conditions of employment for employees whose pregnancies are disabling as well as provide leave for childbirth, according to the complaint.

Parr seeks back pay, front pay, benefits, damages, and attorney fees.

She is represented by attorneys Patrick S. Cassidy and Irvin N. Shapell of Cassidy, Cogan, Shapell & Voegelin in Wheeling. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge David J. Sims.

Hancock Circuit Court case number: 14-C-1435

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