Nicaraguan Nurse Claims Discrimination
SANTA ANA, Calif. (CN) - In U.S. District Court, Central District of California, a nurse claims Kaiser managers harassed and fired her because of her Nicaraguan descent.
Christiana Montealegre sued Kaiser Permanente and four adminstrators or managers – Cindy Gayle, Dawn Vandersoot, Robert Stoval, and human resources representative Dave Peria, a .
Montealegre says she began her employment with Kaiser as a Medical Assistant in 2006 and had since become a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) II. She was fired in 2013, according to her lawsuit.
“The defendants claimed plaintiff was being fired because of ‘outbursts.’ However, other employees who were not of Nicaraguan descent had outburst, (sic) fight, (sic) and were clearly under the influence of drugs when dealing with members, for example, but were not disciplined in any way. Other non-Nicaraguans, under the same supervision and within the same department who had displayed much more serious forms of misconduct were not even suspended, let alone fired,” Montealegre’s complaint states.
“Unlike other similarly situated nurses, defendants used plaintiff’s race/national origin in order to discriminate against her, placed her on a suspension, told other employees plaintiff was incapable of being an LVN, and terminated plaintiff,” it continues.
Montealegre accuses Kaiser of defaming her to her colleagues.
On March 11, 2013, the day she was fired, Montealegre says she “learned defendants had published to uninterested parties that plaintiff was not competent to continue working as a LVN at Kaiser. Plaintiff was exposed to disgrace in that her professional reputation and occupation had been injured. The statements to colleagues and members were of and concerning plaintiff and were false.”
“Individuals who used to be friendly to plaintiff and related to her as a colleague and/or respected nurse in Kaiser’s community no longer talked to her, and isolated her,” her complaint states.
Montealegre seeks a jury trial, reinstatement, declaratory relief, actual and compensatory damages, general and special damages, consequential and incidental damages, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, civil penalties under the Private Attorneys General Act, attorneys’ fees and costs. She is represented by Gloria Dredd Haney of Orange.