Fired for Safety Concerns, OB Tech Claims
12-18-2013 21:39:00

     MODESTO, Calif. (CN) - Kaiser fired an Obstetrician Technician for making complaints about patient safety compliance issues and other grievances, and missing work for medical reasons, she claims in a wrongful termination complaint filed in Stanislaus County Superior Court.
     Temesha Ivy sued Kaiser Foundation Hospitals for Health and Safety Code violations, Labor Code violations, retaliation, disability discrimination, failure to prevent retaliation and discrimination and wrongful termination.
     In her 27-page complaint, Ivy says she began submitting complaints not long after she was hired, through a variety of channels, regarding patient safety issues. These complaints concerned supply packs in delivery rooms, the kinds of instruments being used for C-sections, operating room sanitation, bio-hazardous waste disposal, video recording of C-sections, “doctors not taking cases seriously, doctors taking short-cuts in patient care,” circumcision protocols, and care of premature infants, Ivy’s complaint states.
     Ivy also complained over the years, she says, about being assigned to do hearing screenings and other tasks outside her job description, visitor policies, work scheduling issues (such as more favorable schedules going to those lower on the seniority ladder than herself), inter-departmental salary disparities, various procedural and paperwork issues, and “being subject to bad attitudes from nurses, mid-wives, and doctors.”
     Overall, the complaint lists over 20 occasions between Oct. 2008 and Dec. 2011 on which Ivy says she complained to a direct supervisor, a departmental manager, her union representative, the Compliance Hotline, co-workers at a staff meeting, individual co-workers or someone else about one or more topics.
     Ivy says she took a medical leave for a work-related arm injury in 2009 and another leave following a car accident in 2010, and that she missed an unspecified number of days beginning in 2009 because of migraine headaches.
     Ivy mentions missing work for other reasons as well, including a car break-down on her way to work, oversleeping, and her husband and son both having panic attacks on the same day.
     The complaint describes six times Ivy says management either spoke to her verbally or gave her written warnings about tardiness between July 2009 and her termination in Jan. 2012.
     According to the complaint, Ivy was suspended twice, once for missing her required TB skin test. The complaint is not specific about the reason management gave for the other suspension.
     On Jan. 5, 2012, the complaint continues, Ivy was called in to a meeting with her union representative and two managers and given a letter of termination, which stated attendance as the reason.
     Ivy claims Kaiser made her work during meal breaks and rest periods and owes her 59.8 hours of sick leave pay.
     She accuses Kaiser of retaliating against her because of her reports about patient care concerns and her complaints about disability discrimination. “Defendant’s actions were motivated, at least in part, by plaintiff’s disability,” she alleges.
     Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages, non-economic damages, punitive damages, attorney’s fees, costs of suit and prejudgment interest.
     She is represented by Lawrance A. Bohm and Victoria L. Baiza of the Bohm Law Group in Sacramento, Calif.