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St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital Sued For Wrongful Termination

Rowena Martin has filed a lawsuit claiming St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital and St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System Corp, fired her because of her numerous health problems. (Case No. 4:13-CV-718)

According to Martin the defendants discriminated against her as well as failed to accommodate her disability before terminating her.  Martin worked as Senior Interviewer for the Admissions Department at  St. Luke’s. She has been battling cancer and high blood pressure, in addition to suffering from severe anemia, for 35 years.

Court documents state, that Martin received a new supervisor who required her to perform many of her tasks in a significantly limited amount of time,  causing “extreme stress” and  aggravating her high blood pressure.”   Then she was denied her requests for medical leave twice, by her superiors prior to terminating her.

The State of California offers almost half a dozen family and medical leave laws of its own to ensure that employees can take care of their medical issues without fear of loosing their jobs.  Below are just a couple of them.

  • The California Family and Medical Leave (FMLA)

Qualifying employees may take up to 12 weeks of leave for serious health conditions.  California employers must comply with the FMLA if they have at least 50 employees for at least 20 weeks in the current or previous year. The FMLA renews every 12 months, as long as the employee continues to meet the eligibility requirements.

Employees are eligible for FMLA leave if:

  • they have worked for the company for at least 1 year
  • they worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous year, and
  • they work at a location with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.

Employees are entitled to continue their health insurance while on leave, at the same cost they were paying while still working.  Although, FMLA leave is unpaid, employees may be allowed to use their accrued paid eave during FMLA leave. When an employee’s FMLA leave ends, the employee is entitled to be reinstated to the same or an equivalent position.

California Family Rights Act (CFRA)

Employers with at least 50 employees must allow their eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period for his or her serious health condition.

If you have suffered discrimination or wrongful termination because of your illness or for exercising your right to take  FMLA or CFRA leave, please call Los Angeles Employment Attorney, Todd M. Friedman a call at 877-449-8898 for a free consultation.