A former mechanic for an Industry company that provides Cat heavy construction equipment is suing the firm, alleging he was wrongfully laid off this spring as a guise for his acquiring symptoms that could possibly have been from the coronavirus.
Ronald Van Dusseldorp’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit was filed Tuesday against Quinn Group Inc. The suit’s allegations include wrongful termination, medical disability discrimination, retaliation and failure to accommodate. The plaintiff seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
A Quinn Group representative could not be immediately reached for comment.
Van Dusseldorp, 55, was hired as a mechanic at the company on Rose Hills Road in September 2018, the suit states. In mid-March he began to experience symptoms of fever, body aches, difficulty breathing and coughing and believed he may have contracted COVID-19, the suit states.
He went for a medical evaluation the next day and his doctor told him he suspected the plaintiff had the coronavirus, but that there was a lack of testing available at that time to make the diagnosis conclusive, the suit states. The doctor told Van Dusseldorp to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Van Dusseldorp immediately told Quinn management about his belief he had the coronavirus and his doctor’s quarantine order, the suit states.
When Van Dusseldorp returned to work in early April, Quinn “wrongfully terminated plaintiff for the false and/or pretextual reason of a layoff,” the suit states.
The plaintiff believes Quinn was either frustrated with his absence or afraid he could spread COVID-19 after he returned from quarantine, according to the suit.
Van Dusseldorp further suspects he lost his job in retaliation for his “perceived” medical condition and for requesting accommodations, including leave to quarantine, the suit states.