A member of Jehovah’s Witnesses is suing a Lynwood hospital and an employment recruiting company, alleging they fired her during the pandemic for complaining about being discriminated against because of her faith.
Cossetta Stroud’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit names as defendants St. Francis Medical Center Inc. and Burbank-based Xpert Recruiters LLC. The suit filed Wednesday alleges religious discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation, violation of the state Family and Medical Leave Act and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Stroud, 60, of Los Angeles, seeks unspecified damages.
Representatives for St. Francis and Xpert Recruiters could not be immediately reached.
Stroud was jointly employed by both defendants as a social worker beginning Sept. 14, 2019, and she worked with patients who contracted the coronavirus, the suit states.
She was a practicing member of Jehovah’s Witnesses and she had two supervisors, Lynette Hamilton and Karen Warmack, the suit states.
Stroud cares for her aging mother, who has cancer and is vulnerable to the coronavirus, the suit states. The defendants sponsored stays at a nearby hotel for employees who contracted COVID-19 and Stroud, who cared for her mother and did not want her to get sick, reserved a room at the hotel from July 1-14, the suit states.
In response, Warmack asked Stroud, “Doesn’t it bother you because of your religion to make that reservation?” according to the suit.
Stround found the remark unwelcome and discriminatory based on her religion and she asked Warmack to not make any further such comments, the suit states.
Stroud told her supervisors she wanted to take time off under the Family Medical Leave Act to care for her mother, but after making her request and complaining about religious discrimination, the defendants began retaliating against her and eventually fired her, the suit alleges.
Neither defendant had a policy or procedure to prevent discrimination and retaliation, leaving Stroud to endure a work environment that included both, the suit states.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: