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Took Care of Mom, Fired|From Kaiser, Nurse Says

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) - Kaiser harassed a nurse who was on approved leave, and then fired her shortly after she returned to work, she claims in court.

Kirandeep Kaur alleges in Sacramento County Superior Court that she took time off work beginning Aug. 13, 2012, under the Family Medical Leave Act and the California Family Rights Act, to help her mother who had undergone a total hip replacement. While on leave, however, Kaiser hospital supervisor Cynthia Chandler left harassing phone messages, criticizing her for taking too much time off and demanding she return to work, according to the complaint.

Chandler continued harassing Kaur when she returned to work in early September, putting her on suspension during a "conflict of interest behavior" investigation, and ultimately firing her on Dec. 3, 2012, according to the complaint.

Kaur claims in her complaint that the termination was in retaliation for taking time off to help her mother. She says her mother "had a serious medical condition which allowed plaintiff Kaur to be in a protected class of employees afforded the protections of FMLA/CFRA. Defendants did discriminate against plaintiff based on her right to take protected mental/medical and/or physical disability conditions leave to care for her mother. These medical matters were communicated to defendants through plaintiff Kaur. However, defendants took an adverse employment action against plaintiff Kaur because of participation in protected activity of requesting FMLA/CFRA leave, and when she returned from such leave defendant Kaiser terminated her employment."

Kaur is suing Kaiser Permanente Medical Group for discrimination, harassment, retaliation and failing to prevent a hostile work environment, in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act.

She is seeking general, special, consequential, exemplary, economic and non-economic damages.

Mark P. Velez, Karen Asplund Velez and Nicole D. Moore represent the plaintiff.

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