Seizure Disorder Gets Worker Suspended, She Claims
LOS ANGELES (CN) – A woman claims Kaiser suspended her for six months after she took medical leave during a seizure episode, in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Otillia Samora sued Kaiser Permanente International on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated under the state Private Attorneys General Act.
Samora started working at Kaiser as a medical assistant in 1999. She has a seizure disorder that causes temporary numbness and partial paralysis in her limbs, which Kaiser knew about when she was hired, according to the complaint.
Though the paralysis is temporary, the onset is sudden and can keep her from getting to work on time, Samora says.
This happened on the morning of July 30, 2016. Samora called and said she was using FMLA time during her flare up that morning, but promised to be in later that day. When she came in around noon, the administrative director berated her for being late and refused to let her make up the lost hours at the end of her shift despite chronic understaffing and a need for more coverage, according to the complaint.
Samora asked why she was being discriminated against. The director took Samora to her office, where they argued about Kaiser’s leave policies. During their argument Samora began having an attack and asked the director for help, but the director just told her to clock out and go home even though she could barely move. A nurse finally came and helped her into the hallway, and she was later taken to the emergency room, the complaint states.
When Samora got back to work the next day, she says, the director suspended her for six months for confronting the discrimination.
Kaiser forced her to take classes on “dealing with others” when she returned to work in January 2017 on “final warning status.” She claims the classes and the warning were in retaliation for taking disability leave.
She seeks general, special, and punitive damages for disability discrimination and violations of the Family Medical Leave Act, and reimbursement for loss of earnings, overtime, and other employment benefits.
Samora is represented by Gary Carlin with the Law Offices of Carlin & Buchsbaum of Long Beach.