Stressed-out Kaiser Accountant Fired for Taking Leave, She Says
2-14-2013 10:14:00

(CN) - An accountant for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan claims she was fired after complaining about poor management and the department's workload, and for taking medical leave because of the stress.

Debra Lizarraga says in her Los Angeles County complaint that poor training and incompetence - and a department restructuring that saddled accountants with even more work - led her to her first stress leave in 2010. When she returned to work, her managers denied lunch breaks and "frequently forced her to eat lunch at her desk while still working," according to the complaint.

Lizarraga says that in the face of unrealistic expectations, a crushing workload and criticism by management that she complained too much, she developed chest pains and thought she was having a heart attack. Despite being approved for FMLA leave, department managers placed her on administrative leave and later fired her.

She seeks damages for a litany of labor and employment violations, disability discrimination, slander and libel.

Lizarraga is represented by Brian Vogel of Pasadena, Calif.