Judge Rules HR Director Must Shore Up Claims vs. Pomona Hospital

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POMONA (CNS) - A former human resources director for Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center will have to shore up half of her eight claims in order for them to remain part of a lawsuit she filed against the facility over the loss of her job, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Pomona Superior Court Judge Salvatore Sirna said plaintiff Shaunette Miller needs more details to support her causes of action for sexual harassment, failure to provide reasonable accommodations, failure to engage in the interactive process and intentional infliction of emotional distress. He gave Miller's lawyers 20 days to file an amended complaint.

Sirna said there are currently enough facts to back Miller's other four claims for wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation and failure to prevent harassment, discrimination and retaliation.

Miller was hired in June 2019 as a human resources director, overseeing recruitment, employment, compensation and staff development, the suit filed Oct. 12 states.

Shortly after Miller started, her supervisor began sexually harassing her on the job, but nothing was done about his alleged misconduct, the suit alleges. The boss also made "lewd and inappropriate comments" to Miller about his private life and the plaintiff's physical appearance, according to her suit.

The same boss often commented on Miller's clothing, including scolding her for donning leggings, the suit states.

When Miller again complained about her boss' alleged discriminatory and retaliatory conduct, an investigator assigned to hear her concerns turned out to be someone close to the plaintiff's supervisor, the suit states.

"(Miller) expressed deep concerns about this conflict of interest and lack of objectivity, but continued to actively cooperate with the investigation," the suit states.

The final report of the investigator absolved Miller's supervisor of any wrongdoing and the plaintiff was fired last Aug. 10, according to the suit, which further suit states that the plaintiff has experienced severe financial losses and emotional distress because of the actions of PVHMC management.

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