Kaiser Driver: Fired for Taking Care of Sick Mom
7-1-2013 23:56:00

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Kaiser fired a truck driver in retaliation for taking leave to care for his sick mother, he claims in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

When Jose Bendana’s mother was diagnosed with cancer, “Plaintiff informed defendant management of his mother’s serious health condition and his need to take periodic leaves in order to attend to his mother’s medical needs,” according to Bendana’s complaint. “Plaintiff was periodically required to take his mother to the hospital for emergency treatment. On these situations, plaintiff did not have prior knowledge of the emergency and could not provide advance notice of his absence but plaintiff consistently provided management with telephonic notice at the earliest opportunity available,” the complaint says.

“Since exercising his rights to take leave to care for his mother’s serious health condition, plaintiff has been subjected to harassment and retaliation,” the complaint continues. First he “was issued a ‘corrective action’ and threatened with termination due to attendance issues,” which he challenged, according to the complaint. Leave was then approved, the complaint says.

Nonetheless, he was fired anyway, “allegedly for an error relating to his social security number, despite the fact that he was born in the United States and had been employed for ten years with defendant. Plaintiff challenged the termination and was subsequently reinstated,” Bendana says.

Nonetheless, a month later, “plaintiff was again terminated allegedly for issues related to his social security number. Plaintiff again challenged the termination and was subsequently reinstated,” Bendana’s complaint continues.

The third time he was fired, the reason given was “attendance issues, such as calling in late to report his absence, arising from his attending to his mother’s serious medical condition,” Bendana says in his complaint.

The plaintiff sues for violation of the California Family Rights Act and retaliation. He is represented by R. Tomas Olmos of Allred, Maroko & Goldberg.