Whistle-Blowing Got Man Fired, He Claims
7-23-2013 23:42:00

     SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) - A man with a good work record was suspended and fired on a pretext for whistle-blowing related to workers' compensation and sexual harassment, and because he was injured, he claims in Sacramento County Superior Court.
     Irvin Reyes sued Kaiser Foundation Hospitals for wrongful termination, discrimination, failure to accommodate disability, failure to engage in the interactive process, and retaliation. He also sued Kaiser and Cha Xiong for defamation. He seeks damages, including punitive damages, and fees.
     Reyes, who had a good work record, was suspended and fired after co-employee defendant Cha falsely told human resources he was harassing her, the complaint says.
     According to the complaint, Reyes had been dating Cha privately, and another employee found out and was making sexual comments to Reyes. Reyes then complained to human resources, and it came out that Cha was dating several co-employees. Cha, angry with Reyes, falsely told human resources he was harassing her.
     Plaintiff was suspended without anyone getting his side of the story, and then fired, Reyes says in his complaint.
     Reyes believes this incident was used as a pretext for his firing over whistle-blowing and his injuries, the complaint says.
     Prior to the incident, Reyes had injured his eye at work, which damaged his vision; He also injured his knee at work, according to the complaint.
     The complaint continues, "after plaintiff's knee injury Kaiser discouraged plaintiff from seeing a workers' compensation doctor and told him he should take time off work for his knee injury instead. Per advice from his union, plaintiff went to he workers' compensation doctor. After plaintiff went to the workers' compensation doctor, Saul, plaintiff's night supervisor, told plaintiff he had to write him up for going to 'occupational health.'
     "Plaintiff told Saul that he wanted a copy of the write up for his union grievance and that he was going to take it to compliance and the Labor Board. When plaintiff asked for the write up, he never received it. Plaintiff was out for two weeks with his knee injury.
     "Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that that a motivating reason for his termination was disability discrimination based on his eye and knee injury and retaliation for engaging in a protected activity when he complained about his supervisor Saul's discriminatory write up after he reported his knee injury.
     "Plaintiff is informed and believes that a motivating reason for his termination was retaliation for engaging in a protected activity when he complained to Sandra Hall about Ed's sexual harassment."
     Gregory A. Thyberg of Granite Bay represents the plaintiff.
T1023