Schedule Accommodation for Autistic Son Cancelled, Mom Claims
LOS ANGELES (CN) – Kaiser denied a schedule accommodation it had provided for 13 years, the mother of an autistic son claims in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Sana Shahin sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., The Permanente Medical Group, Inc., Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and The Permanente Federation LLC, a Delaware for profit entity, alleging Labor Code and Fair Employment and Housing Act violations, intentional infliction of emotional distress and wrongful termination.
Shahin began working for Kaiser in 2000. In 2005, she accepted an offer work as a supervisor for the outside referrals department, contingent on a schedule that allowed her to work at home three out of five days a week, so she could care for her autistic son, according to the lawsuit.
Shahin claims she saved money for Kaiser in her role and received positive performance reviews until 2017, when a new supervisor gave her a performance evaluation for 2016 and unjustifiably denied Shahin a pay increase which Shahin contends she should have received. When Shahin complained, the supervisor retaliated by denying Shahin’s annual expense reimbursement, spreading rumors about her, and questioning her decisions and performance scores, according to the lawsuit.
In May, 2018, the supervisor gave Shahin her 2017 evaluation, claimed Shahin’s department production scores were low, and on that basis took away Shahin’s partial work-at-home schedule, according to the complaint.
“On May 18, 2018, Shahin was forced to take a disability leave due to the stress from the harassment and retaliation at work. Shahin’s doctor put her out of work until Sept. 2018,” (Pg. 12, No. 46) the complaint states.
When Shahin’s leave was up, she submitted return-to-work documents, asking to be returned to her previous three-days-a-week-from-home schedule, along with a note from her doctor saying Shahin should not work for that supervisor anymore, according to the complaint.
“Kaiser refused to return Shahin back to work with the reasonable accommodations she had at all times claiming Shahin did not provide sufficient documentation to support her request for reasonable accommodation. Shahin provided [various] documentation in support of her request for reasonable accommodation. Instead of returning Shahin to work, Kaiser put Shahin on a five month long unpaid administrative leave, which effectively terminated Shahin’s employment from Kaiser because it is intolerable to expect any employee to survive for five months on unpaid administrative leave,” the complaint states.
Sana Shahin seeks general, compensatory and punitive damages, past and future lost earnings, bonuses and other benefits, pre-judgment interest, costs of suit, attorneys’ fees, other penalties and interest, injunctive relief and a jury trial. She is represented by Shahane A. Martirosyan of Stephan Filip in Glendale and by Alex Gilanians and Arthur Saakian of the Law Offices of Alex Gianians, also in Glendale.