A Dallas-based litigation support company that works with the largest Am Law 100 firms was sued by a former sales representative who alleges the company discriminated against her because she was pregnant, and retaliated by firing her 10 days before she gave birth.
The defendants are Courtroom Sciences Inc. and affiliates, who work with big law firms such as Sidley Austin, Nixon Peabody, Latham & Watkins, Baker Botts, K&L Gates and more, according to the company’s website. None of its clients have any involvement in the litigation. CSI helps lawyers and firms with media relations, deposition services, litigation preparation and more.
Brent Dobbs, CEO of Courtroom Sciences Inc., didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.
The May 16 complaint in Cartwright v. Courtroom Sciences, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Dallas, claimed plaintiff Megan Cartwright was an account executive for CSI, who made sales to attorneys and law firms.
She told the company she was pregnant in May 2018, and a month later, the company wrote her up for allegedly failing to meet a monthly quota, and put her on a performance improvement plan, according to the pleading. Other CSI employees—men or non-pregnant women—who didn’t meet sales goals were not disciplined, the complaint claimed.
Cartwright’s suit alleged she worked to hit her quota and asked for help from her managers, but didn’t get it. It said other employees sometimes were “gifted” accounts to help meet their sales goals.
“Plaintiff complained to her manager that she was being treated differently than these account executives and her manager responded that she was ‘being a lazy sales rep,’” the petition alleged.
CSI asked her to resign in September 2018, but she refused because she was concerned about her pregnancy and needed to work, according to her pleading. She kept striving to meet her quota and believed she met that goal in the last month of her performance improvement plan.
“Even so, and without notice, plaintiff was terminated on Nov. 9, 2018—a mere 10 days before she was scheduled to have a C-section,” the complaint said.
Cartwright also alleged that earlier, when she asked CSI for maternity leave and wanted to talk to human resources, her supervisor said not to worry about talking to HR. The company never gave her information or helped about her rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act, the complaint said.
She is suing Courtroom Services and Professional Technologies Inc., which does business as CSI Global Deposition Services Inc., for gender discrimination and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and under the FMLA. Cartwright seeks to recover past and future lost earnings and benefits, back pay and front pay, damages for emotional pain and suffering and mental anguish, exemplary damages, cost and attorney fees, and interest.
Dallas solo practitioner Clay Hartmann, who represents Cartwright, declined to comment.