Woman Says Restaurant Fired Her for Getting Pregnant

Bartender files lawsuit against John Barleycorn alleging discrimination

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    Bartender files lawsuit against John Barleycorn alleging discrimination. NBC 5's Lauren Jiggetts reports. (Published Thursday, July 17, 2014)

    A suburban woman has filed a lawsuit claiming she was fired from a Schaumburg bar after she became pregnant.

    Jacqueline Johnson was a bartender at the former John Barleycorn when she learned she was pregnant in December. That's when she says the problems began.

    "They started asking me if I wanted to work and they cut down my shifts," Johnson said.

    That's when she says her manager fired her via a text message that read:

    I can't have you work while you are pregnant. It's too much of a liability for the bar. I don't want to chance if anything was to happen. I'm sorry.

    John Barleycorn's owner, Sam Sanchez, tells NBC 5 the allegations are false. He says Johnson never filed a complaint and that he's had several pregnant employees at his restaurants. He says at the time, the bar was only open one day a week, so he was operating under a reduced staff.

    But Johnson is proceeding with her lawsuit, which seeks compensatory damages and fees.

    "You don't know what discrimination feels like until it happens," Johnson said. "I'm a pretty understanding person, but I mean I cried. I was hurt."

    "One day she will be able to appreciate that I tried, I wasn't a victim. I don't want her to be a victim."

    Johnson is requesting a trial by jury.

    The restaurant company has not seen the lawsuit, but once they do, they'll have 21 days to respond.