Jury Awards $849K To Woman In Pregnancy Bias Case

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DETROIT (AP) – A jury has awarded $849,000 to a former Wayne State University student who said her pregnancy contributed to her ouster from the school’s social work program.

Tina Varlesi says she was a victim of discrimination. She says she got a poor review during a 2008 internship at The Salvation Army because her pregnancy offended her supervisor there. As a result of that review, Wayne State bounced her from the School of Social Work where she was pursuing a master’s degree.

A federal jury returned a verdict in Varlesi’s favor Thursday. The 34-year-old Detroit-area woman says she feels vindicated. An email seeking comment was left with a Wayne State spokesman.

Varlesi’s attorney says the verdict restores dignity to her client. Deborah Gordon says Varlesi was an excellent student.

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