CHARLESTON -- A former employee is suing Soho's Enterprises after she claims she was fired from her job after maternity leave.

Soho's Enterprises, LLC is doing business as Soho's at Capitol Market.

In May 2009, Nichole Elizabeth Schleider became pregnant with her third child while she was employed by the defendant, according to a complaint filed Jan. 11 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Schleider claims when she began showing signs that she was pregnant, Sharon Sohovich, the manager at Soho's, began to pressure her to quit her job because she did not want her to work around customers in a pregnant condition, but she refused.

On Dec. 1, 2009, Schleider began her maternity leave, according to the suit.

Schleider claims she gave birth to her third child on Jan. 6, 2010, and on Jan. 15, 2010, she informed the general manager for Soho's that she would be ready to return to her job as a server as soon as her obstetrician released her for work.

At no time up to this point was Schleider informed that her job as a server might not be available to her after her maternity leave ended, according to the suit.

Schleider claims on Feb. 8, 2010, she informed the general manager that she was being released to work an that she would be available for the upcoming Valentine's Day weekend, and was told she needed to discuss her return with Sohovich.

On Feb. 13, 2010, Sohovich informed Schleider that she had no work available for her to return and that she would not in the future, according to the suit.

Schleider claims despite telling her there was no available work because of the down economy, Sohovich rehired a male employee on March 1, 2010, for the same server position that she had been denied.

The defendant violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act by refusing to permit Schleider to return to her job, according to the suit.

Schleider is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. She is being represented by Thomas F. Basile.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Tod J. Kaufman.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-75

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