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Monday, June 10, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Employer of the Year

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (CN) - In a pregnancy discrimination complaint, a worker claims her company "accommodated" her morning sickness by offering her a bigger wastebasket so she could vomit at her desk instead of losing time by running to the bathroom.

April Roller sued National Processing of America, in Federal Court.

Roller claims National Processing, an inbound and outbound call center, promoted her to management in January 2011, less than a year before it fired her.

Roller claims National Processing fired her because of her high-risk pregnancy.

She says National Processing harassed throughout her pregnancy, including delaying paperwork for taking leave under the Family Medical Leave Act writing her up for frequent bathroom visits due to morning sickness.

"On one occasion, defendant's manager told plaintiff that she would obtain a larger trash can for plaintiff so that she could take care of vomiting without having to visit the bathroom or leave her seat," the complaint states. "Plaintiff complained about such comment appropriately but nothing was done nor any apology provided to plaintiff. Instead, plaintiff received additional write-ups without her knowledge, to further discriminate against her and in retaliation for her complaint about the rude comment pertaining to her pregnancy condition.

"On another occasion, defendant's manager told plaintiff that defendant did not 'pay [her] to pee,' objecting to plaintiff's necessity to use the bathroom when plaintiff experienced nausea or dizziness due to her pregnancy conditions. Defendant's manager claimed to plaintiff it was not 'fair to other employees' for plaintiff to take excessive bathroom breaks. When plaintiff complained about being told that defendant did not 'pay [her] to pee,' defendant characterized plaintiff's need to take bathroom breaks due to the conditions of her pregnancy as being 'constantly out of her desk.'"

Roller claims she was also reprimanded for wearing special shoes because her feet were swollen, and she was demoted and refused a transfer due to her pregnancy.

Roller seeks actual and punitive damages for violations of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Title VII and the Family Medical Leave Act.

She is represented by Marie Gockel, with Bratcher Gockel & Kingston, of Kansas City, Mo.

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