Woman sues Democratic campaign panel over firing She alleges pregnancy led to her dismissal

January 15, 1998|By DALLAS MORNING NEWS

WASHINGTON -- A Maryland woman has filed suit in federal court against Rep. Martin Frost of Texas and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, alleging she was fired because she was pregnant.

A spokesman for Frost, who has chaired the committee since 1995, denied the charges of Amy Gleklen, who left the House Democrats' campaign arm in April.

Gleklen says her dismissal is a violation of the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act, which Democrats advocated to help ease the burdens on families.

She had been deputy director of the committee's audio and video production unit since 1993, helping candidates shoot and edit campaign commercials.

"It's obvious that the committee simply did not want to provide her with further family leave and struck pre-emptively," her attorney Roy W. Krieger said yesterday.

Matt Angle, executive director of the committee and a defendant in the suit, said Gleklen was a "valued employee" who repeatedly refused to comply with a written agreement regarding the terms of her employment.

"The DCCC acted appropriately and within the letter and the spirit of the law and terms of employment with Gleklen," he said.

Gleklen took her complaint last year to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which dismissed the matter, saying it was unable to find any evidence of discrimination.

According to the suit filed Monday with the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia, Gleklen told her supervisor in January 1997 that she was pregnant with her third child and planned to go on maternity leave in August.

Gleklen, 38, had taken leave from the committee from November 1994 to February 1995 after the birth of her second child.

When she returned, she rearranged her schedule so that she could work part time until the demand for campaign commercials picked up before the 1996 election.

After notifying the committee of her third pregnancy, Gleklen says, she was told that she would have to work full time or be fired.

Angle said Gleklen previously agreed in writing that she would work full time when the committee deemed it necessary.

Gleklen is asking for her job back and damages in excess of $75,000.

Pub Date: 1/15/98

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