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Monday, May 27, 2024 | Back issues
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Woman Says Work Injury Cost Her Kaiser Job

LOS ANGELES (CN) - A Kaiser hospital fired a woman for taking time off due to work-related injuries, she claims in court.

Kelly McClendon worked as a Mammography Associate for nine years and began experiencing migraines, bilateral carpal and cubital tunnel syndrome, and associated conditions she claims she developed through her work activity. McClendon filed a workers' compensation claim and was granted California Family Rights Act leave, specifically, an entire week to recover.

She says in her complaint that her supervisors began to harass her because she "missed too much work." They suspended her and ultimately fired her under false pretenses, she claims.

She was suspended April 4, 2011 after she notified the defendants that her doctor had placed her on "light and/or modified duty work."

"Incredibly, only hours later, defendants . . . called an 'emergency meeting' and suspended plaintiff pending investigation for what defendants called a 'near miss' error that was fortunately caught in time."

She was fired on April 12 in connection with the April 4 incident. She said the defendants "retaliated against and wrongfully terminated plaintiff for the false and/or exaggerated and/or pretextual reason(s) of plaintiff's 'productivity' and for what defendants called a 'near miss' error that was fortunately caught in time."

To add insult to injury, McClendon claims she was replaced by a less experienced and younger "non-disabled" individual.

"As a direct and legal result of the acts and omissions of defendants . . . plaintiff was rendered sick, sore, lame, disabled and disordered, both internally and externally, and suffered, among other things, numerous internal injuries, severe fright, shock, pain, discomfort and anxiety," the complaint claims.

Plaintiff is suing Kaiser Permanente, Southern California Permanente Medical Group and Kaiser Foundations Hospitals for discrimination and retaliation, violations of the California Family Rights Act and wrongful termination in violation of California law. She also seeks a permanent injunction preventing the continued acts of harassment, discrimination and retaliation.

Marcus A. Mancini, Christopher Barnes, Tara J. Licata and Meghan E. George, of Mancini & Associates in Sherman Oaks, represent the plaintiff.

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