MORGANTOWN - A Monongalia County woman has filed a suit against a restaurant where she was employed as a manager, claiming she was discriminated against because she was pregnant.

Sandy Gray filed a suit May 9 in Monongalia Circuit Court against Back Bay, Inc., and its owners Kenneth and Holly Shipley.

Gray was hired as a full-time server in October 1999. By March 2005, she was promoted to a full-time salaried management position. In May 2005, Gray was advised she was carrying twins and would require bed-rest during her pregnancy.

According to the suit, between May and October 2005, Gray and Kenneth Shipley had numerous conversations about temporarily filling her position while Gray was on maternity leave. During that time, Gray claims she was told her position would be held for her until she could come back to work.

On Oct. 12, 2005, Gray was placed on full bed rest. According to the suit, Shipley assured Gray her need to leave work early would not affect her position.

She returned to work to assist with closing on Oct. 13. According to the suit, Gray never quit her job after this date, and the owners never requested her assistance. However, on Nov. 2, Gray received a copy of a letter Holly Shipley wrote to Mountain State Blue Cross/Blue Shield stating Gray's last day of employment was Oct. 13, 2005.

Gray claims she called Kenneth Shipley regarding the letter and he said he thought Gray quit when she left the restaurant on Oct. 13, and he would fill her position. Shipley agreed to meet on Nov. 3 to discuss the situation, however, Gray went into pre-term labor.

On Nov. 11, 2005, Gray saw an advertisement for her position at Back Bay. According to the suit, Gray believes she was discriminated against on the basis of pregnancy, which is a violation of the West Virginia Human Rights Act.

Sandy Gray demands full and fair compensation, together with court costs.

Monongalia Circuit Court case number 07-C-316

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