HUNTINGTON -- A former employee is suing Valley Health Systems after she claims her employment was terminated while she was off work following her pregnancy.

Brooke Samples was employed by the defendant and claims she consistently performed her duties in a satisfactory manner and met the reasonable expectations of the defendant, according to a complaint filed Jan. 31 in Cabell Circuit Court.

Samples claims during the latter part of 2010, her physician required her to be off from work because of her pregnancy being complicated by hypertension, which the defendant initially agreed to.

She claims after her child was born, her physician required her to be off work until Nov. 29, 2010, and thereafter extended the period of time to Dec. 31, 2010, due to continuing problems caused by postpartum depression.

On Dec. 3, 2010, prior to the time Samples was to be released by her physician, the defendant terminated her employment for the stated reason that she had failed to return to work, despite her physician's express directions not to return until the end of December, according to the suit.

Samples claims Valley Health Systems caused her embarrassment, humiliation and emotional distress.

The defendant's actions violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act, according to the suit.

Samples is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre-judgment interest. She is being represented by John C. Blair and Kendal E. Partlow.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge David M. Pancake.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 11-C-46

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