Whittier Nurse’s Suit links job loss to COVID test denial | KFI AM 640


Whittier Nurse’s Suit links job loss to COVID test denial |  KFI AM 640

NORWALK (CNS) – A former nurse at PIH Health Hospital Whittier is suing her ex-employer, alleging she was discriminated against and then fired in 2021 because she objected on religious grounds to a HIV test. coronavirus.

Lilia Acevedo-Cosio’s lawsuit in Norwalk Superior Court alleges wrongful termination, retaliation, discrimination and a failure to prevent discrimination and retaliation. The 43-year-old Whittier woman seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages as well as an injunction ordering PIH not to engage in future discrimination against employees.

A representative for PIH did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit filed Thursday.

Acevedo-Cosio was hired by PIH in April 2004 and has excelled over the years in case manager roles, earning the respect and admiration of his colleagues, according to the lawsuit. She volunteered for overtime and received a raise in November 2018 that was about three times higher than those given to others, according to the complaint.

Last August, the CEO of PIH said that all employees must be vaccinated by October 1 and that those who are not vaccinated should wear an indication on their employment badge identifying their exemption status – a rule which has also had to effect of distinguishing unvaccinated employees. , states the suit.

All unvaccinated and partially unvaccinated workers were ordered to wear an N95 mask both in the hospital and at PIH clinical facilities, the suit says.

The prospect of having to get vaccinated, which Acevedo-Cosio objected to on religious grounds, has caused her heart palpitations and anxiety attacks, so she wants sick leave in August, the lawsuit says. Her religious exemption was approved as long as she had to take the vaccine, but she was still ordered to be tested and told that failure to do so would result in her being removed from the work schedule and disciplinary action, according to the lawsuit.

The following month, the hospital issued a disciplinary proceeding for unvaccinated employees that began with a written warning and could escalate into dismissal, the suit says. When Acevedo-Cosio returned from sick leave and hospital staff were unhappy with her explanation regarding the tests, she was placed on unpaid leave even though hospital policy stated that discipline began with a written warning, according to his prosecution.

“For her own safety, Complainant called security and was escorted out of PIH,” the suit states.

Acevedo-Cosio was then fired on Nov. 15, according to the suit.

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