An abortion clinic in New Jersey filed for bankruptcy last month after it lost a legal battle with three former employees who claimed they were fired for requesting and taking maternity leave.
The legal proceedings began after the three former workers sued the Pilgrim Medical Center Inc. in Montclair for discrimination in the fall of 2013, according to the Wall Street Journal. The three former employees — one administrative worker and two medical assistants — claimed that they were punished for being pregnant and requesting maternity leave. They also accused Nicholas Campanella, the clinic's owner and supervising physician, of discriminating against them during that time.
In February 2013, one former employee says that Campanella fired her during her pregnancy because there was a "lack of work," despite the fact that an online posting to fill her position had just been posted, the Journal reported. The other two ex-employees claim that they were fired later in 2013 after having already taken their maternity leave.
According to the lawsuit, one of the women stated that Campanella told his employees at the abortion clinic to never become pregnant "because [Dr. Campanella] does not like pregnant employees," the Journal reported.
The Pilgrim Medical Center, which employs 22 people and pulled in $1.8 million in revenue last year, ultimately filed for Chapter 11 protection after a judge ordered the clinic to pay more than $1 million to the three plaintiffs, according to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Newark.
During the legal proceedings, Campanella wanted to ensure that there was no confusion regarding the clinic's work and its other employees' professionalism.
"None of the physicians employed by Pilgrim have been sanctioned or had any medical board actions taken against them," Campanella said, according to court papers, adding that none of the doctors or patients he has ever encountered have filed a complaint since he began practicing in 1978.
The Pilgrim Medical Center, which was founded in 1989, is the only such center in the state that performs abortions at 24.6 week gestations in a one-day procedure, its website notes. The center plans to appeal the judgment.
(H/T: Life News)
Front-page image via Shutterstock