Wednesday, September 27, 2023
Courthouse News Service
Wednesday, September 27, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Kaiser Worker Says She Got a Death Threat

OAKLAND, Calif. (CN) - A Kaiser employee was fired and received a death threat after complaining about "infectious patient waste ... that overflowed onto the floors," she claims in court.

Carrie Nash sued Kaiser Foundation Hospitals dba Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center, in Alameda County Court.

Nash claims she began working for Kaiser as an "environmental service aide" in October 2003.

In 2009, she says, she saw a co-worker abandon his post for hours, leaving "hazardous" materials unattended in the open.

"Specifically, plaintiff complained about Mr. Finley leaving infectious patient waste in garbage bins that overflowed onto the floors, leaving them in corridors and in closet areas," the complaint states. "He would mop contaminated floors and leave contaminated water in closets and hallways; and he would leave his work area unattended for several hours and leave contaminated bio-waste, all exposing patients and employees to possible contamination."

Nash claims her repeated complaints led to a more hostile work environment, an onslaught of threats that included a death threat, and ended in her being fired.

Finley's first name is not mentioned in the complaint, which does not name any individuals as defendants.

"On June 30, 2010, plaintiff received a phone call at work from an unknown person, who yelled at plaintiff, 'Ms. Bitch, I will kill you,'" the complaint states. "Additionally, sometime in July 2010, on plaintiff's day off, several pieces of paper made their way around the office, all indicating, 'Carrie Nash is a snitch.'"

Nash says she also received threats in person.

"Specifically, on October 26, 2010, plaintiff's co-worker, Kadi Alcorn, who is a friend of Mr. Finley, gave plaintiff a threatening look and told Ms. Taylor, in front of plaintiff, 'Yeah, Monica, I got your back.'"

Nash says she contacted Kaiser's Human Resources hotline, filed security reports and a grievance with her union, but was told that her evidence did not constitute a hostile work environment.

So she reported the contamination to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which investigated and fined Kaiser, Nash says.

Afraid for her safety, Nash says, she took leave of absence, but the hospital ordered her to accept a transfer to a position at another hospital, or be fired. She says Kaiser fired her on Nov.8, 2011, claiming she had "abandoned her job."

She seeks reinstatement, lost wages and front pay, and damages for retaliation and labor law violations.

She is represented by Karine Bohbot, with Bohbot & Riles.

Categories / Uncategorized

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.