Woman Says She Was Fired After Objecting to Virus Unemployment Claim

Judge holding gavel in courtroom

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A former housekeeper for the owners of the Metropolitan Theatres Corp. chain is suing her ex-employers, saying she was fired as retaliation for opposing the family's alleged plan to have her collect unemployment insurance so they wouldn't have to pay her during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lucia Oleasroman's Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit against MTC CEO and Chairman Bruce C. Corwin, his wife Toni and their son, MTC President David Corwin, alleges retaliation, wrongful termination, fraud and deceit, false impersonation, failure to pay wages and failure to provide rest and meal periods.

Oleasroman seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages in the suit filed Monday.

An MTC representative could not be immediately reached for comment.

According to the suit, Oleasroman was hired by the Corwins in 1995 to be the housekeeper at their Beverly Hills home. She loved the Corwins as if they were part of her own family, the suit states.

“The Corwin family told Ms. Oleasroman that they loved her, that they would always treat her fairly, that they would always take care of her and that she should trust them to do what was best for her,'' the suit states.

Oleasroman's duties grew over the years, but her “meager'' pay remained the same, according to the suit. As time passed, the Corwins cut back on the size of their domestic staff and placed the departed employees' tasks on the plaintiff, making her responsible for all of the family's laundry and dry cleaning needs as well as being their chauffeur, the suit states.

Toni Corwin underwent various medical procedures and she and her husband required Oleasroman to remain on duty to provide personal and medical care for her and perform her other duties for weeks with no breaks, the suit states.

“During the entirety of Ms. Oleasroman's 25 years of employment by (the Corwins), they never informed her of her right to take ... any rest breaks during her work days,'' the suit states.

When Oleasroman was stricken with breast cancer in 2014 and underwent more than six months of “physically devastating'' chemotherapy, the Corwinsforced her to keep working non-stop and “callously refused to let her take breaks,'' the suit states.

Despite the coronavirus outbreak in the spring, Oleasroman reported to work and fulfilled her duties, the suit states. In May, Toni Corwin told Oleasroman that Georgina Vargas, the Corwins' personal assistant, would be filing an unemployment claim on the plaintiff's behalf, the suit states.

Oleasroman was unaware the unemployment insurance claim would “falsely and fraudulently represent'' to the state Employment Development Department that the plaintiff had been employed as an administrative assistant for MTC and that she had been fired in March due to the coronavirus, the suit states.

In reality, Oleasroman had been and was still at the time employed by the Corwins and had never worked for MTC, the suit states. Toni Corwin toldOleasroman that she was not being fired and would continue working for the family and would now receive $600 weekly from the EDD, the suit states.

Toni Corwin also told a “confused'' Oleasroman that the EDD unemployment insurance application Vargas would file would change nothing other than who paid the plaintiff, the suit states. But the plaintiff told the Corwins she objected to the filing of the claim, believing it to be “fraudulent and illegal,'' the suit states.

An upset Toni Corwin responded that the Corwin Family no longer wanted Oleasroman to work for them, the suit states. Five hours after her firing, Oleasroman received text messages from Toni Corwin “berating her'' for not having confidence that the Corwins knew what they were doing regarding the unemployment claim, the suit states.

The Corwins cut off Oleasroman's health insurance knowing she still had regular appointments with her oncologist, the suit states. But in late May, the Corwins' other son, Danny, sent a text to the plaintiff thanking her “for taking care of my parents for so long,'' according to the suit.

Photo: Getty Images

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