Nurse: 'Misconduct' A Pretext for Work Injury Firing
7-15-2013 11:19:00

     SAN JOSE, Calif. (CN) - A former Kaiser Permanente nurse claims in Santa Clara County court that the hospital giant fabricated misconduct charges and terminated her rather than accommodating her for a herniated disc.
     Lilly Philip says in her disability discrimination complaint that a herniated lumbar disc - stemming from a workplace injury - in 2010 prevents repetitive motion and lifting objects weighing more than 10 pounds, according to the complaint. Philip had worked as a registered nurse at Kaiser's Santa Theresa facility since 1998.
     She says in her complaint that from 2010 until her termination in May 2012, Kaiser management alternately disallowed, approved and disallowed again any accommodation for her condition.
     "During the period from May 2010 up to and including May 4, 2012, plaintiff made defendant's managerial employees aware of her disability and requested defendant Kaiser accommodate said disability. Defendant Kaiser by and through its managerial employees did retaliate against plaintiff because of her request that Kaiser accommodate her disability by: a. initially failing and refusing to make reasonable accommodations for plaintiff's disability, then after accepting plaintiff's demand that it accommodate plaintiff's disability refused to accommodate as agreed; b. [managers] instructed plaintiff not to communicate with her co-employees; c. falsely accusing plaintiff of misconduct on Feb. 8, 2012, Feb. 12, 2012, March 29, April 10, 2012 and April 11, 2012; d. terminating plaintiff's employment on March 24, 2012," Philip says in her complaint.
      Philip says Kaiser also improperly suspended her twice as a result of its unfounded misconduct accusations.
      The woman seeks back pay and damages. She is represented by Frank E. Mayo of Los Altos, Calif.