A former Quest Diagnostics Clinical Laboratories Inc. driver is suing the company in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging she was fired in 2019 for contracting an infectious disease and taking time off to heal.
The allegations in Paulina Cruz’s lawsuit include retaliation, discrimination and failure to accommodate.
A representative for the clinical lab chain, a Fortune 500 company, did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the complaint filed Thursday. The plaintiff is seeking unspecified damages.
Cruz says she began working for Quest in September 2005, driving to hospitals and clinics to pick up blood draws. She worked there for 15 years without any problems, according to her suit.
Last May, she felt ill and went to an urgent care center with her boss’ approval, the suit says. Cruz says she was diagnosed with chickenpox and went on leave from May 30 to June 7 as a result of the disease, which results in a characteristic skin rash that forms small, itchy blisters.
Cruz tried to return as scheduled on June 7, but her boss said she needed a doctor’s approval, according to her court papers.
Cruz’s doctor did not get back to her until June 10, at which time she says she sent the release-to-work note to her boss. Her supervisor told her to come in the next day and she continued to work without incident through June 20, but that day her boss and another manager called her into a meeting and fired her, the suit says.
Cruz was “left embarrassed, ashamed, emotionally hurt and in financial desperation” for having lost her job, allegedly for contracting a disease and taking leave, the suit states.
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