Nurse Claims Kaiser Broke Labor Laws and Discriminated
11-18-2014 01:51:00

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Kaiser broke labor laws and discriminated against a hospice nurse, and retaliated when she complained, she claims in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

     Dianna Marsh sued Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Kaiser Permanente South Bay Medical Center for discrimination based on race, sexual orientation and disability, retaliation, failure to prevent discrimination and retaliation, tortious constructive termination, failure to provide rest and meal periods and failure to pay all wages due.
     According to the lawsuit, Dianna Marsh worked for Kaiser from 1998 until 2013. In 2000, Marsh was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which required her to wear a special leg brace, take intermittent leave under the California Family Rights Act and “periodically receive limitations of not working on call in the evenings or working on weekends,” her complaint states.
     The Kaiser facility where she originally worked was willing to accommodate these restrictions, Marsh says, but when she moved to another facility in 2010, she was told “that she did not belong at the premises and needed to go back to Downey/Bellflower, that she ‘did not fit,’ and that she was not a ‘team player,’” her complaint states.
     “Commencing in approximately Dec. 2010, plaintiff was told she would no longer be accommodated and that unless her restrictions or limitations were lifted, she would no longer be employed by the employer defendants. As a result, plaintiff had her doctors lift her restrictions on a trial basis,” the complaint states.
     Marsh also contends Kaiser discriminated against her for being white and gay.
     Marsh filed a written complaint of race, disability and sexual orientation discrimination in mid-2012, and was suspended on a pretext in retaliation in Jan. 2013, according to the complaint.
     Marsh says she was a non-exempt employee, and was entitled to rest and meal breaks and overtime pay.
     “Plaintiff, during her employment, was required to work ‘off the clock’ and was not paid either straight time or overtime for this off the clock work. The fact that plaintiff and others were working off the clock was known to the employer defendants. Plaintiff was also not paid overtime for all the hours she worked. Plaintiff was also denied legally required rest breaks,” the complaint states.
     Marsh says in addition to her 2012 discrimination complaint, she “protested wage and hour violations being engaged in by the employer defendants, this was also a protected activity. This included, but was not limited to, in July 2013, protesting the fact that employees were being told not to take legally mandated breaks,” the complaint states.
     Kaiser retaliated against Marsh for both of her complaints, she says, including micromanaging and criticizing her, writing her up, coercing her into dropping her discrimination complaint, giving her poor assignments and eventually forcing her to quit or retire.
     Dianna Marsh seeks lost income and benefits, including pay for missed rest and meal periods and unpaid straight and overtime pay, damages for pain and suffering, attorney’s fees, costs of suit, punitive damages and a jury trial. She is represented by Michael F. Baltaxe of Sottile Baltaxe in Westlake Village.
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