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Suit: Paralegal in the city’s IPRA discriminated against for pregnancy

A paralegal in the city’s Independent Police Review Authority is suing the city, claiming her supervisor in the department discriminated against her and subjected her to a hostile working environment when she became pregnant.

Dewi Klava, who has been an employee of the city since 2004, filed the discrimination lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. District Court.

Klava began work as a paralegal in the IPRA’s legal department in 2010, and until she conceived her first child later that year, she received excellent performance reviews, according to the lawsuit.

But Klava’s supervisor’s tone and demeanor towards her changed when she was granted medical and maternity leave and he scrutinized her work more intensely than other workers, according to the lawsuit.

When she returned to work in June 2011, the supervisor intensified his discrimination and retaliation against Klava because her work had “piled up,” the suit alleges.

The suit claims she was expected to “make up work [she] missed while [she] was away,” and she was forced to work late and during her lunch breaks on a regular basis.

Her supervisor, who is named as a defendant in the lawsuit, also gave her a worse performance review than the year before, the suit alleges.

By the time Klava conceived her second child in September 2013, her supervisor’s discriminatory attitude towards her had subsided, according to the lawsuit.

But upon receiving Klava’s request for a work schedule that would accommodate the needs of her pregnancy, the suit alleges her supervisor once again became agitated and eventually Klava was suspended without pay on three separate occasions for not performing assignments “up to his standards” and “nearly missing a deadline.”

Klava filed a claim of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in November 2013, the lawsuit alleges.

Shortly thereafter, her supervisor called her into his office, where he yelled and berated Klava. She shook with fear and apprehension that her supervisor would cause her bodily harm or would fire her, the suit claims.

The lawsuit claims the supervisor gave preferential treatment to men and non-pregnant employees.

She was issued her Notice of Right to Sue in February 2014, according to the suit.

The nine-count lawsuit alleges discrimination, retaliation, a hostile working environment and, among other things, violation of the Civil Rights Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. Klava is seeking an undisclosed amount in damages.

A representative from the city could not be immediately reached for comment Thursday evening.