Kaiser Retaliated Against Injured Nursing Assistant, She Claims
LOS ANGELES (CN) - Kaiser retaliated against an injured nursing assistant, she claims in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Benigna L. Smith Sued Kaiser Permanente, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals dba Kaiser Permanente and The Permanente Medical Group, Inc. dba Kaiser Permanente for employment discrimination, failure to engage in a timely, good faith interactive process, failure to provide reasonable accommodation, retaliation, failure to take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent discrimination from occurring, wrongful termination and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Smith worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant at Kaiser since 2001, according to the lawsuit.
“Unfortunately, due to the repetitive physical nature of plaintiff’s job duties, plaintiff suffered cumulative industrial injuries to her lower back, and other areas of her body, which resulted in physical disabilities that ultimately required plaintiff to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits,” the complaint states.
Smith could have performed light duties, but Kaiser was unwilling to make that accommodation and Smith had to take a leave of absence, it continues.
“Eventually, plaintiff returned to work, with restrictions, as a part-time Monitor Technician but defendant employers began to retaliate against plaintiff and refused to provide training to plaintiff in her new position,” the complaint states.
Smith says she complained about that to her union representative.
“Thereafter, plaintiff was routinely reprimanded by defendant employers. Within one month of commencing her position as a Monitor Tech, defendant employers placed plaintiff on suspension pending a review of her work performance. Shortly thereafter, on or about July 23, 2014, defendant employers terminated plaintiff’s employment,” the complaint states.
Benigna Smith seeks compensatory, exemplary and punitive damages, declaratory and injunctive relief, reinstatement, attorneys’ fees, prejudgment interest, costs of suit and a jury trial. She is represented by Reza Mirroknian and Hider Al-Mashat of The Mirroknian Law Firm in Sherman Oaks.