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Mother sues Midcontinent for losing job over 'child care concerns'

SIOUX FALLS (AP) -- A Sioux Falls mother who once worked for Midcontinent Communications has filed a federal lawsuit against the company alleging sex discrimination.

Donethia Harris filed the suit last week in U.S. District Court in Sioux Falls, saying she was fired when complications with her pregnancy forced her to take an extended leave of absence.

Harris said Midcontinent, a cable television and Internet provider, refused to hire her back because she had "child care concerns."

Midcontinent spokesman Tom Simmons says he couldn't comment on the case because corporate policy prohibits the discussion of personnel or legal matters

Harris' complaint alleges that she was terminated in October 2010, four days after being denied a request for additional personal days beyond what was allotted to her through the Family and Medical Leave Act. The act gives qualifying employees 12 weeks of leave for family purposes.

She said the company encouraged her to apply for other positions, but she said she was never called back for an interview when she applied. Harris said her status as a new mother led to her being passed over.

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