Kaiser Fired Employee on Medical Leave, Action Alleges
2-20-2019 23:27:00

GLENDALE, Calif. (CN) – After she complained of years of harassment from her boss, Kaiser fired an older disabled worker when her doctor put her on medical leave, according to a complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Oxana Shagin sued Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Mathivanan Arunachalam for wrongful termination, employment discrimination based on age, gender, disability and race/national origin, hostile work environment, failure to accommodate or engage in the interactive process, retaliation, failure to prevent discrimination, harassment and retaliation, and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Shagin says she began working for defendant Kaiser as an Application Delivery Manager, and was then promoted to HP CHATS Application Manager. 

According to the action, Shagin’s manager, defendant Arunachalam, began harassing Shagin in 2014. Shagin says he complained of female workers in the office, bullied her, called her and her team weak, excluded her from important work meetings, unfairly increased her workload, undermined her, gave her negative performance reviews when she met or exceeded goals, told her she should retire, told her not to hire anyone over 30, took away her time off hours, threatened to fire her, blamed her for problems out of her control and told her that he could “harass [her] into doing work.”

In 2015, Shagin says she complained about her manager’s behavior to Kaiser Vice President James Dunn but nothing was done. She also complained to Kaiser’s Human Resource Department but was told that opening an investigation could backfire and negatively impact her Kaiser career, the suit states.

In 2017, Shagin was placed off work by her doctor. Two days later, Kaiser fired her while she was on leave. She was 57 years old at the time.

Shagin seeks general and special damages, compensatory damages for lost wages, benefits and retirement, damages for mental and emotional pain and anguish, medical costs, punitive damages, interest and legal costs.

The plaintiff is represented by Rob A. Rodriguez, Richard A. Apodaca and Ruchika Gupta of Rodriguez Apodaca Law Firm LLP in Ontario, California.