Kaiser Clerk Fired Due to Pregnancy, She Claims
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (CN) – Kaiser fired a newly hired Appointment Clerk before her probationary period was over due to her pregnancy, she claims in her San Bernardino Superior Court lawsuit.
Fatima Gutierrez sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals for wrongful termination and pregnancy discrimination, disability discrimination, failure to engage in the interactive process and failure to make reasonable accommodations under the Fair Employment and Housing Act.
Shortly after being hired, Gutierrez says she began to experience nausea and fatigue, and then learned she was ten weeks pregnant. During two training sessions for her new job as an appointment clerk for Kaiser, she closed her eyes to relieve the nausea and was reprimanded by the instructor for dozing off, she says. On both occasions, Gutierrez told the instructor she was pregnant, and merely closing her eyes to relieve her discomfort, according to the suit.
Twenty-nine days into her 75-day probationary period, Gutierrez was fired, with the only explanation given being “failure to pass probation,” she says. At no time was she told “the reasons as to how or why she failed to pass probation,” according to the suit, making the alleged reason for her termination “clearly pretext.”
Kaiser at no time met with Gutierrez to determine what reasonable accommodations would allow her to fulfill her job duties, according to the suit.
Gutierrez seeks damages for loss of wages and benefits, general damages for physical and emotional distress, and punitive and exemplary damages, in addition to interest and legal costs.
The plaintiff is represented by Howard L. Magee of Diversity Law Group in Los Angeles.