Kaiser Fired and Defamed a Disabled Nurse, She Claims
2-14-2015 00:43:00

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) - Kaiser fired a disabled nurse right after a medical leave and defamed her, she claims in Sacramento County Superior Court.

     Frances Branch sued The Permanente Medical Group, Inc., dba Kaiser Permanente for disability and age discrimination, retaliation, failure to prevent discrimination and retaliation, failure to provide reasonable accommodation, failure to engage in the interactive process, defamation and wrongful termination.
     According to Branch’s 13-page lawsuit, she was a Registered Nurse working at Kaiser’s Adult Advice Call Center in Sacramento. She was fired on Oct. 15, 2013, the day she returned from a protected medical leave, she claims. She is over 40 and alleges that her age and her disability were both motivating factors in Kaiser’s decision to fire her.
     “Although plaintiff provided multiple notices pertaining to her disability, defendant failed to engage in a good faith interactive process to the extent needed to communicate to plaintiff that defendant believed business necessity required that the parameters of the accommodation be reassessed,” the complaint states.
     Branch alleges Kaiser spread false statements about her after she was fired.
     “These false and defamatory statements included express and implied statements that plaintiff was an incompetent nurse and that her incompetence as a nurse had put patients at risk. These and other similar false statements expressly and impliedly stated that plaintiff was dishonest and unethical,” the complaint states.
     “As a result of the publication and republication of these defamatory statements by defendant, and its agents, plaintiff has suffered injury to her personal, business and professional reputation including suffering embarrassment, humiliation, severe emotional distress, shunning, anguish, fear, loss of employment, and employability, and significant economic loss in the form of lost wages and future earnings, all to plaintiff’s economic, emotional, and general damage in an amount according to proof, ” it states.
     Frances Branch seeks general, compensatory and punitive damages for lost wages, hospital and medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, physical pain, mental suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, physical impairment, inconvenience, grief, anxiety, humiliation and emotional distress. She is represented by Lawrance A. Bohm of the Bohm Law Group in Sacramento.