A downtown Los Angeles company that provides safety and hospitality services is being sued by a former employee who says he was wrongfully fired earlier this year for complaining about various work issues, including a lack of accommodations after he contracted the coronavirus on the job.
Fernando Marquez’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit against Streetplus Co. LLC alleges disability discrimination, failure to provide reasonable accommodation, failure to engage in the interactive process, retaliation and failure to prevent harassment.
Marquez seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages in the suit brought Monday.
A Streetplus Co. representative could not be immediately reached for comment.
Marquez was hired as a safety ambassador in January 2020 and throughout his time there he did not receive meal and rest breaks or sick pay, the suit alleges.
Management asked Marquez to get tested for COVID-19 and take the day off, but they refused to pay him for that day or give him sick pay, according to the suit.
Marquez subsequently contracted the coronavirus while at work and experienced nausea, fever and vomiting, the suit states. He obtained a doctor’s note directing him to take two weeks off, but the company refused to compensate him with sick pay, the suit states.
Marquez complained that he was not receiving meal or rest breaks, then hired a lawyer and asked management for his personnel file, prompting him to soon begin suffering retaliation, reprimands and a subsequent suspension, according to the suit.
One of Marquez’s supervisors subsequently sent the plaintiff a text message Feb. 9 that he was fired, the suit states.
Marquez believes he was fired in retaliation for complaining about not getting accommodations when he sought sick leave and pay after contracting the coronavirus and because he spoke out about the company’s alleged refusal to give him meal and rest breaks as well as sick pay, according to the suit.
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