Fired Over Name Mix-Up, Immigrant Claims
ROSEVILLE, Calif. (CN) – Kaiser fired an immigrant because of a government red-tape glitch, she claims in Placer County Superior Court.
Jocelyn Melvin sued Kaiser Permanente for racial/national origin discrimination, retaliation, failing to prevent retaliation and discrimination, age discrimination and wrongful termination.
According to Melvin’s lawsuit, she was born in Guyana, has been in the U.S. since 1977 and worked as an ICU staff nurse at Kaiser.
“On June 27, 2016 Ms. Melvin received instructions to contact the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration to contest her DHS referred status. Ms. Melvin did just that and was informed that her middle name appeared on her social security identification card but not on her driver’s license,” the complaint states.
On July 18, before Melvin had time to resolve the discrepancy, Kaiser sent her a Separation of Employment letter claiming that her identity could not be verified and that she was no longer eligible to work at Kaiser, according to the complaint.
“Ms. Melvin immediately began the lengthy process of resolving the mix-up. It was not rectified until after her termination, and no extension of time was given by Kaiser. Ms. Melvin had the situation corrected by August/September as it was a simple clerical error. Ms. Melvin was a union member and therefore should have union priority when applying for positions within Kaiser. Ms. Melvin has applied to over 20 positions within defendant Kaiser and has not been able to get an interview or new position despite her positive work history and experience. Ms. Melvin reasonably believes based on this, she is being subjected to discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination based on her protected characteristics of race, national origin and age,” the complaint states.
Melvin contends Kaiser “allowed the use of identification with different names, similar to this situation, when a proper explanation for the variation, such as marriage, name change or other reason was offered by the employee,” and that her race and national origin was the true reason she was fired.
She also claims her age was a factor, as she is over 40.
Jocelyn Melvin seeks general, special and exemplary damages, interest, costs of suit, attorneys’ fees and a jury trial. She is represented by William L. Bowen of Bowen & Nguyen in Roseville.