Disabled Worker Claims Kaiser Set her Up to Fail
HAYWARD, Calif. (CN) - A black claims processor says Kaiser withheld training and set her up to fail, in an Alameda County Superior Court lawsuit.
Berlin Thomas sued Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center for employment race and disability discrimination, failure to accommodate disabilities and infliction of emotional distress.
Thomas, who had worked for Kaiser for twelve years was treated differently from the beginning of her claims processing job, her complaint states.
She is black, is recovering from a back injury, and has irritable bowel syndrome, she says.
On the new job, her Filipina trainer discriminated against her by not giving her the same training others had, leaving her alone at the front desk for long periods without adequate training, telling supervisors she was not doing well and did not want to learn, not inviting her to meetings, frustrating her ability to take sanctioned bathroom and stretch breaks, and often harassing her for doing so, according to the complaint.
Thomas' desk was even moved to a place where she could not perform all of her duties and it was difficult to take her breaks, so others could see when she was taking them and report back to manager Claudia Glimski, according to the complaint. Glimski even had employees follow her into the bathroom when she took breaks, the complaint states.
Additionally, "Glimski told plaintiff 'we're gonna get you out of here,' and that she was going to 'keep writing plaintiff up until she does.'"
Thomas' trainer also regularly made racially discriminatory comments at work, such telling the mother of a mixed-race baby that her newborn was a "mutt," and yelling "Chop, chop!" to an Asian couple to get them to hurry and get their paperwork done, according to the complaint.
Thomas seeks economic damages, interest, attorney's fees and punitive damages.
She is represented by Denise Eaton May of Hayward.