Sexual Harassment Claim Was Retaliatory, Fired Man Claims
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) – Reporting an aggressive nurse led to false charges of sexual harassment, a fired patient care technician claims in U.S. Eastern District Court of California.
Arthur Gutierrez sued Kaiser Permanente and Service Employees International – United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) for failure to prevent discrimination and retaliation in the workplace, retaliation, California labor code violations and breach of collective bargaining agreement. His lawsuit additionally accuses SEIU-UHW of breach of the duty of fair representation and Kaiser Permanente of wrongful termination.
According to the lawsuit, Gutierrez saw a white nurse push a black nurse out of her way. When Gutierrez and the black nurse reported the incident to their supervisor, Gutierrez expected the supervisor to stop scheduling the three of them to work together, but that change was not made, according to the complaint. Gutierrez does not believe the aggressive nurse was disciplined, he says.
Not long after security staff and Gutierrez’s supervisor interviewed him about the pushing incident, the white nurse filed a complaint of sexual harassment against him, he says.
Gutierrez was called into a meeting with a human resources investigation specialist, a union shop steward and a union contract specialist to discuss the sexual harassment allegations, according to the complaint.
“During the meeting, plaintiff was asked a series of misleading and confusing questions that he could not understand,” the complaint states.
He contends Kaiser refused to provide him with any evidence to support the charges against him, and that Kaiser and the union did not follow their own protocols in their handling of the situation.
Gutierrez was not put on administrative leave pending an investigation, he says.
Gutierrez says his supervisor continued to schedule him and his accuser to work together, leading him to believe Kaiser had decided her claim was false.
However, a little over four months after the meeting, Gutierrez’s supervisor fired him based on the false charges, Gutierrez claims.
Arthur Gutierrez seeks actual, compensatory, consequential, statutory and punitive damages, attorney’s fees, expert costs, costs of suit, a money judgment for pain and anguish, injunctive relief, pre- and post-judgment interest and a jury trial. He is represented by Lauren D. Johnson of TENAX Law Group in Point Richmond.