Former Fred Beans Hyundai employee Cherie Santai won a $150,000 judgment in a wrongful termination lawsuit that she filed against the Pennsylvania car dealership.
Santai claimed that she was fired after announcing she was pregnant. Fred Beans, his daughter and vice-president Elizabeth Beans Gilbert, Fred Beans Hyundai, and the parent company, Fred Beans Ford, Inc. were named as co-defendants.
According to Santai, she told Beans that she was pregnant at a weekly management meeting in early 2008 but the news was not well received. Fred Beans showed what is alleged to have been “visible and obvious disgust,” asking about the pregnancy and its impact on Santai’s work. Reminding Beans that her news was a “good thing” Beans was alleged to reply that being pregnant meant she could not work as a service manager and that she would be shifted to a lesser position until her delivery, but not before she located and trained her temporary replacement, a male with less experience.
According to the lawsuit, in October, 2008, just weeks before her planned maternity leave, Santai was fired personally by Mr. Beans, who told her that the Hyundai service manager position was being eliminated. Santai was the only female service manager and the only pregnant employee let go. Separation paperwork stated that the decision was permanent, yet a few weeks later, the male replacement who Santai hired, began identifying himself as “Service Manager of Fred Beans Hyundai.”
Pennsylvania attorney Craig Thor Kimmel from the law firm Kimmel & Silverman, P.C. represented Santai in her wrongful termination lawsuit against Fred Beans Hyundai.