Home Health-Care Worker Alleges Firing Tied to COVID-19

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A home health-care worker is suing her former employer, alleging she was wrongfully fired earlier this year for contracting the coronavirus and needing time off to deal with her illness.

Shana Tucker-Maheia's Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit allegations against Marina del Rey-based Complete In-Home Care Services include wrongful discharge, discrimination, retaliation, failure to accommodate and various state Labor Code violations. She seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages in the suit filed Monday.

A company representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Tucker-Maheia was hired in January 2018 and was assigned to work at the home of an elderly Santa Monica woman, the suit states. The plaintiff began having trouble breathing in late December and paramedics came to her home, the suit states.

“Believing she may have COVID-19, plaintiff was instructed to self-quarantine,'' the suit states.

Tucker-Maheia called her company's owner and told her she would not work her scheduled shift because she may have the coronavirus, but the owner responded that the plaintiff did not have the virus and told her to go to work, according to the suit.

Tucker-Maheia tested positive for the coronavirus on Dec. 30 and told the company owner she needed to take medical leave, the suit states. The plaintiff tried to return to work in January, but management refused to allow her to do so and fired her, the suit states.

Complete In-Care Home Services subjected Tucker-Maheia to disparate treatment due to her having the coronavirus, which is defined under state law as a physical disability, according to the suit. She also has suffered both financial losses and emotional distress since losing her job, the suit states.

Photo: Getty Images

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