A radiologic technologist and single mom is suing her former employer, alleging she was wrongfully fired after she was unable to return to work because the coronavirus pandemic prevented her from finding child care.
Yuliya Lykhonosov’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit against Olympia Medical Center alleges violations of the California Family Rights Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and wrongful termination. She seeks unspecified damages in the suit filed Wednesday.
An Olympia representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Lykyonosov was hired in October 2017 and last May 26 told her manager she could not come to work because a teacher at her younger child’s daycare center tested positive for the coronavirus, which caused the entire facility to close indefinitely, according to her court papers.
Lykyonosov was a single parent with two children, ages 4 and 17, and she immediately asked to be placed on a waiting list for any available spot for child care for her preschooler, the suit states. However, due to the pandemic, there were no schools or camps available, according to the suit.
While off work from May 22 to July 14, Lykyonosov was in regular contact with an Olympia human resources employee who called the plaintiff weekly and asked her to return to work, often telling her, “You are not the only single parent” and “You are not the only one who is without child care,” the suit states.
The human resources employee told Lykyonosov that others in the same situation were able to report to work and threatened to stop the plaintiff’s benefits if she did not come back, the suit states.
Lykyonosov told the human resources employee that the comments were harassing and discriminatory and asked for more time to find care for her child, according to her court papers. In mid-July, Lykyonosov says she informed the human resources employee that she was tired of the “harassing” phone calls and asked that communications take place by email instead.
Lykyonosov later received a letter from her employer telling her to return to work July 22 and she was fired that day for failing to do so, despite having advised management that she was still searching for child care, the suit states.
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