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Bartender Claims She Was Fired By Restaurant Over Pregnancy

(File Photo: LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)

(File Photo: LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — A woman filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday claiming she was fired from her bartending job in Tinley Park when it became apparent she was pregnant.

Heidi Spontak claims she was let go from her job at the Charley Horse Restaurant, at 9501 W. 171st St., after she became aware of her 11-week-old pregnancy in May 2011.

Spontak said she informed her manager and other employees at the restaurant that she was pregnant, and was told not to let the bar owners know of her situation or she would be fired.

In late July, Spontak claims she was bartending when one of the bar owners, Maria Sord, commented that Spontak looked like she was pregnant. A few minutes later, the bar manager told Spontak that “they know about your pregnancy,” and said Spontak would no longer be working there.

Spontak claims she was doing her job properly, and filed a charge for discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in November 2011.

The one-count suit claims violations of the U.S. Civil Rights Act. Spontak seeks back pay, lost benefits, attorney’s fees, compensation for Spontak’s emotional distress and punitive damages of $200,000.

The bar owners did not return messages seeking comment late Wednesday.

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(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)