Trial Begins in Spokane Sex Discrimination Suit - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Trial Begins in Spokane Sex Discrimination Suit

SPOKANE, Wash. -  A federal court in Spokane today begins hearing testimony in a case brought by Norma Maxwell against VESi, a software company, for wrongful termination. Ms. Maxwell, who is represented by Janet S. Chung, attorney at  Legal Voice, and Kammi Smith of Winston & Cashatt, was fired despite excellent performance reviews, after her employers told her she "had a negative attitude" about being pregnant and that they believed it was "not possible" for a mother to work from home if she had small children.

 Norma Maxwell was a successful Senior Web Designer at VESi who had received positive evaluations, and had been permitted to work at home. However, when she became pregnant with her second child, she was admonished because she did not appear to be "glowing and happy," which her employers alleged was how a woman should feel.

After her child was born, Ms. Maxwell returned to work and asked to continue to work part-time at home and part-time in the office, as she had done previously. 

Her employers denied her request, because of their belief that no new mother could successfully work at home (in spite of her successfully doing so previously), and revoked her flexible work schedule. Soon after her maternity leave ended, she was fired.

Lisa M. Stone, Executive Director of Legal Voice, a woman's rights organization based in Seattle, stated that "Ingrained and insidious gender stereotyping led to Ms. Maxwell's firing.   This employer's outmoded ideas about what pregnant women can and should feel, and what working mothers can accomplish, violates Washington's Law Against Discrimination." That law, RCW 49.60, prohibits discrimination based on sex, including pregnancy discrimination.

The trial began Tuesday before Judge Rosanna Peterson of the U.S. District Court for the eastern district of Washington. It is expected to last 3-4 days, and will include testimony from Ms. Maxwell and from representatives of the defendant corporation.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • US Army Officer from Spokane killed in helicopter crash in Iraq

    US Army Officer from Spokane killed in helicopter crash in Iraq

    Tuesday, August 21 2018 1:14 PM EDT2018-08-21 17:14:50 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The Department of Defense identified the man who died in a helicopter crash in Iraq as 34-year-old Taylor Galvin from Spokane. The DOD says Chief Warrant Officer 3 Taylor J. Galvin died as a result of injuries sustained when his helicopter crash in Sinjar, Ninevah Province, Iraq on Monday. The crash is still under investigation. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The Department of Defense identified the man who died in a helicopter crash in Iraq as 34-year-old Taylor Galvin from Spokane. The DOD says Chief Warrant Officer 3 Taylor J. Galvin died as a result of injuries sustained when his helicopter crash in Sinjar, Ninevah Province, Iraq on Monday. The crash is still under investigation. 

    >>
  • Private jet that blew 2 tires lands safely

    Private jet that blew 2 tires lands safely

    Tuesday, August 21 2018 4:10 PM EDT2018-08-21 20:10:53 GMT

    TETERBORO, N.J. - A private jet that blew two tires during takeoff at a small New Jersey airport has landed safely at an airport in New York.
     The Gulfstream IV landed Tuesday at New York Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, about 70 miles (112 kilometers) north of New York City. Emergency responders were ready by the runway.

    >>

    TETERBORO, N.J. - A private jet that blew two tires during takeoff at a small New Jersey airport has landed safely at an airport in New York.
     The Gulfstream IV landed Tuesday at New York Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, about 70 miles (112 kilometers) north of New York City. Emergency responders were ready by the runway.

    >>
  • One killed, neighbors lose everything in Spokane Valley condo fire

    One killed, neighbors lose everything in Spokane Valley condo fire

    Tuesday, August 21 2018 2:10 AM EDT2018-08-21 06:10:55 GMT

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash.- Spokane Valley firefighters say a condo fire that happened Sunday night killed one person and destroyed at least nine units at the Central Park Condominiums off of 6th Avenue. Billowing smoke and flames was all anyone could see. "It's hard and it all happened so sudden. Within two minutes, everything gets taken away from you. 

    >>

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash.- Spokane Valley firefighters say a condo fire that happened Sunday night killed one person and destroyed at least nine units at the Central Park Condominiums off of 6th Avenue. Billowing smoke and flames was all anyone could see. "It's hard and it all happened so sudden. Within two minutes, everything gets taken away from you. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/