On or about May 25, 2004 the employee went out on leave due to her disability. At the time the employee went out on leave, she informed her supervisor, Stevenson Ranch, manager of client technical analysts, that she had a lupus flare-up and had to go out on leave. The employee is informed and believes that other levels of management, including Human Resources, were also aware this leave was due to Lupus which was a disability the employee suffered from.
On or about June 15, 2004, the employee came back from her leave of approximately 21 calendar days. However, she was still greatly suffering from the ill-affects of Lupus including not being able to walk.
June 16, 2004, the employee spoke to Stevenson Ranch and said she was too ill to come to work due to her continuing symptoms. Thereafter, Stevenson Ranch and the employee began a regular dialogue about what was wrong with her. The employee contends that Stevenson Ranch and other management including human resources was on notice from June 16th, if not earlier, of the disabling nature of the employee's lupus, the fact it was a permanent disability, that the employee needed a reasonable accommodation of time off to treat and recover, and that the lupus caused her hospitalization during this leave.
The employee, Defendant's management, and the employee's doctor agreed she would come back November 1, 2004.
On or about October 21, 2004 the employee received a letter from Simi Valley (Director of Employment & Development in Human Resources) written the same day stating that the employee was terminated effective November 1, 2004 even though Defendant understood the employee was able to come back to work November 1, 2004. The employee called Simi Valley back to discuss the letter with her, but was told that the decision to terminate the employee had already been made and could not be rescinded even though the employee could come back to work November 1, 2004.
The employee was needlessly terminated because she was on leave for a disability, and had taken Family Care Leave. The leave was a reasonable accommodation. Defendant refused to reasonably accommodate the employee by terminating her and not letting her come back from leave because the employee went on a Family Care Leave and disability leave as allowed by law. Defendant's management was on full notice that the employee suffered from a disability. Stevenson Ranch knew the employee could not walk, was in a wheel chair, had taken 3 other leaves over their 8 year working relationship due to the sometimes completely debilitating effects of Lupus. Moreover, in approximately 2001 Stevenson Ranch told the employee he did his own research on Lupus so he could completely understand how it might affect the employee.
On or about August 12, 2002, Defendant's Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board, Mr. Van Nuys himself, working out of Defendant's Anaheim address, gave the employee a contract the employee signed August 12, 2002 and CEO, Mr. Van Nuys himself signed August 11, 2002. The salient portion of the contract, for the purpose of this lawsuit, states "[s]ix months severance at base salary only and will only be in the case of involuntary termination for reasons other than cause." Other terms exist on this contract such as the employee's rate of pay, and his job title.
The circumstances by which the written contract came about were the employee was asking Mr. Van Nuys himself for a contract for continuous employment for three years. Mr. Van Nuys himself told the employee that it sounded like what the employee was really looking for, and what he thought he really needed, was severance in the event there was a termination. Mr. Van Nuys himself explained to the employee this would be the "protection" the employee was looking for. The employee agreed that what ended up being the written contract was sufficient. Mr. Van Nuys himself and the employee were thereafter under the impression that the written contract would provide the employee with six months pay if he was fired for reasons other than cause.
On or about April 28, 2004, the employee spoke to Defendant's new CEO, Sylmar. the employee told Sylmar that he was very stressed out and needed to take a leave. The employee explained that he had gone to a psychiatrist and was prescribed Lithium. Sylmar brought in corporate counsel, Joe Rowland Heights, for this conversation.
Following the employee's conversation with Sylmar and Rowland Heights, Defendant prepared, and the employee filled out, paperwork relating to the employee's leave which the employee is informed and believes was Family Care Leave Act.DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION OF WOMAN WITH LUPUS CASE RESULT: A confidential settlement was promptly reached with the help of a mediator.
On or about July 4, 2001, the employee began her employment with the Defendant as a data entry clerk earning $8.50 per hour.
On or about April 28, 2002, the employee was working and then was rushed to the hospital due to a diabetic attack. April 29th and April 30th were the employee's days off.
On or about May 1, 2002, the employee's husband spoke to the employee's supervisor Pasadena, and then left a voicemail message for Human Resources, Burbank. The voicemail message said the employee was in the hospital due to a diabetic problem, and she needs the medical leave papers Rory spoke about when the husband explained why the employee was absent.
On or about May 2, 2002, the employee's husband succeeded in talking to Burbank who told the employee's husband that Burbank had heard the employee was in the hospital, she should use vacation pay or medical leave, and that he would send the forms. The employee's husband also discussed the employee's medical treatment for diabetes she was receiving in the hospital.
On or about May 3, 2002, the employee was released from the hospital where she had been receiving medical treatment due to her diabetes since April 28, 2002. Upon the employee's release from the hospital, she was placed on temporary disability until June 1, 2002 so that she could recover from the major diabetic attack that caused the employee her to be hospitalized for six days, and have her condition stabilized in the hospital. On or about May 6, 2002, the employee called and spoke to Burbank. She told him she had not yet received the medical forms. Burbank said he would resend the forms.
On or about May 15, 2002, Burbank sent the employee a letter saying she was terminated for failing to return a Family Medical Leave Certificate within 15 days. At no time was the employee ever told she had 15 days to send this form. Nor was the employee eligible for Family Medical Leave. Furthermore, the employee did not have any medical appointments between May 3, 2002 and May 16, 2002, and could not get an appointment with her HMO until May 16, 2002, so it would not have been possible to get these forms back within 15 days. Furthermore, the employee never received these forms from Defendant.
On or about May 16, 2002, the employee came into Defendant's office and picked up the forms from Burbank. However, Burbank told the employee he had mailed her a letter, referring to the May 15th termination letter.
On May 21, 2002, the employee faxed a letter to Burbank stating that she was out on a legitimate leave due to a disability, diabetes. the employee asked that by May 24, 2002, Burbank inform her in writing if she was truly fired. If not, the employee wanted to come back to work on June 1, 2002 when her medical leave due to the diabetic episode was over with.
The employee contends that through Burbank, Jack, and other management, Defendant knew at the time of the employee's termination, that the employee was suffering from a physical disability, diabetes, affecting her hematology that required reasonable accommodations including, but not limited to, hospitalization to stabilize a bad diabetic episode and then a leave from work for slightly more than a month so that the employee could recover from the hospitalization and attack. Additionally, the employee was regarded and perceived by Defendant's management as having a disease that disabled the employee and required reasonable accommodations.The employee contends that Defendant violated California Government Code Section 12940 as follows:
February 15, 2006, the employee suffered an ankle injury at work. By March 23, 2006 it was determined that the employee had to take a leave of absence due to the injury. To her supervisor, Whitney Floyd, the employee showed a March 23, 2006 doctor's note putting the employee out on leave until April 29, 2006 with a notation about needing future medical care. Floyd told the employee it was her responsibility to get the note to human resources which the employee did. The employee alleges that the Defendants thereafter thought and perceived the employee as having a disability under FEHA opposed to merely a serious medical condition despite the employee and her agents providing more than sufficient notice to trigger Defendants into putting the employee on Family Care Leave.
On or about April 11, 2006, the employee spoke to Robin Moody who has corresponded on Wellpoint letterhead from Indiana. The employee understood that Moody was the proper person to speak to, at Defendants, about her leave of absence. The employee told Moody that the employee would be scheduling a surgery.
April 21, 2006 Robin Moody sent the employee's doctor a letter stating in order for the employee to be covered under the Americans With Disabilities Act, Defendants needed additional information. The letter further states the employee's job did not require her to walk, stand, or lift. The employee's doctor responded on or about April 26, 2006, stating the employee needed to use crutches due to an ankle injury. However, the employee developed compensatory shoulder symptoms while using these crutches and ended up with tingling in her hands. At the same time, the doctor put the employee out until May 30, 2006 stating she was temporarily disabled and that paperwork went to Defendants. The employee alleges Defendants' inquiry from the employee's doctor was not appropriate as the employee merely wanted Family Care Leave Act leave, she had provided medical certification, and Defendants did not have the right to additional medical certification. Additionally, the inquiry was directed at reasonable accommodations under a disability analysis which the employee did not ask for.
May 10, 2006, Robin Moody sent a letter stating the employee's ADA/FEHA request could not be processed, and that her time off was not protected under the ADA or FEHA. The letter told the employee to come back to work by May 16, 2006. The employee alleges this letter was a violation of the Family Care Leave Act because it was requiring the employee to come back to work before her three months off expired, and it failed to take into account the employee would be eligible for a Family Care Leave Act leave. The employee alleges that by the time that letter was sent, Defendants had more than adequate medical documentation and oral descriptions concerning The employee's serious medical condition. The employee further alleges that following the employee's receipt of the May 10, 2006 letter, Carlos from her worker's compensation attorney's office called Defendants and then her doctor's office sent more paperwork explaining the employee had a serious medical condition under the Family Care Leave Act requiring her to be off work.
May 23, 2006, Floyd sent the employee a letter stating she was fired for not returning to work May 16, 2006. The letter stated they considered the employee to have voluntarily resigned May 25, 2006. After receiving this letter, the employee called Robin Moody. The employee asked Moody what it was she needed because she was in full possession of all paperwork justifying a leave of absence for a serious medical condition. Moody agreed to call the employee back May 29, 2006. On or about late May of 2006, the employee spoke to Moody and Michelle North from Human Resources. She told them she could not walk and was going to have surgery shortly. They refused to rescind the termination, or approve the leave as Family Care Leave.
ALONSO - PUT THE MYLES CASE RESULT HERE FOR THE BINDING ARBITRATION
On or about May 10, 2011 the employee had an asthma attack while working. The employee used his inhaler. Nonetheless, a co-worker brought the employee to a local emergency room where the employee was medically instructed not to work for two days. However, the employee was not scheduled to work for approximately a week.
On or about May 11, 2011, Defendant's Burbank Human Resource employee North Hills spoke to the employee and told him he would need medical papers to clear him to go back to work. The employee proceeded to comply with that request, had a doctor's appointment the next day, and by 3 P.M. on May 11, 2011 told this to North Hills.
May 12, 2011 North Hills told the employee that he was terminated due to his asthma. In approximately February of 2012, the employee obtained paperwork North Hills wrote May 12, 2011 stating that the employee was terminated for having two asthma attacks at work. The employee alleges that he had only one asthma attack, and the first incident merely involved him using an inhaler.
By having asthma, treating for it during his entire life, having controlled attacks, and being hospitalized for it from time to time, the employee suffered from a physical disability under California Government Code Sections 12926(l), (l)(1)(A) a respiratory condition, l(3) as having a record or history of a condition, and being regarded and perceived by the employer as having a disability l(4)-(5). The employee contends that he required the reasonable accommodations such as use of an inhaler that lasts him more than a year, or medical treatment if he had a flare up.
Defendant violated California Government Code Section 12940 by failing to reasonably accommodate the employee by allowing him to use an inhaler twice in approximately two months and failing to allow him to treat.
The employee alleges that he was discriminated against and terminated because Defendant viewed the employee as unable to work, or do the job he was hired for, because he had asthma, because he infrequently used an inhaler, or could suffer an asthma attack and/or Defendant perceived the employee as being disabled and unable to work with reasonable accommodation. The employee further alleges that he asserted the right to work with a reasonable accommodate and/or with actual, perceived disabilities, or records of such and was terminated as a result in violation of California Government Code Section 12940(h).CASE RESULT FOR FAILURE TO ACCOMMODATE ASTHMA: A confidential settlement was reached in Los Angeles immediately before this case was set for binding arbitration.