Fired for Being Black, Security Guard Claims
LOS ANGELES (CN) – Kaiser forced a black security guard to work unpaid overtime without any breaks and fired him when he complained, the man claims in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Alton Henry sued Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Securitas Security Services on March 16.
Henry claims Kaiser discriminated against and ultimately fired him because he is, and has a disability.
Henry started working for Kaiser in 1990 at their Woodland Hills hospital, patrolling the property, monitoring surveillance, and securing the checkout area in the hospital’s main lobby. For over twenty years he got exceptional performance evaluations and never got a write-up or reprimand until 2014, when the racial discrimination started, according to the 40-page complaint.
Kaiser regularly made him work over eight hours a day without allowing him to take ten minute rest breaks or a 30 minute meal period, according to the complaint.
“Defendants told plaintiff he could not take breaks until his work was finished. However, defendants were so demanding that defendants did not make rest and meal period breaks available to plaintiff because they always had work for him to do and there was never enough time to complete all assignments in the day and/or week,” the complaint states.
Things got worse in early June when the chair he was sitting in broke, and he hurt his back. Though he was in “severe pain,” he did not immediately seek medical attention for fear of being punished, Henry says.
When he complained about the racial harassment, Kaiser accused him of “sleeping on the job” and fired him, according to the complaint.
Getting fired has caused Henry to suffer humiliation, depression, insomnia, emotional distress, and a reduction of income, and tarnished his professional reputation, the complaint states.
Henry seeks overtime compensation, compensation for missed meal and rest breaks, and compensatory damages for lost wages and benefits and medical expenses.
He also seeks statutory penalties and special and punitive damages for 11 causes of action, including race discrimination, age discrimination, disability discrimination retaliation, wrongful termination, and labor code violations.
He is represented by Brandon Sweeney of Burbank.