LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A fired radiologic technologist of Olympia Medical Center is suing her past employer, alleging she was wrongfully terminated after she could not return to work because the pandemic prevented her from finding child care as a single mother.
Yuliya Lykhonosov’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit alleges violations of the California Family Rights Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and wrongful termination. She seeks unspecified damages in the suit filed Wednesday.READ MORE: Family Of Marine Corps Veteran Fatally Shot By CHP Officer Files $15M Claim Against State
Lykyonosov, a single parent of two children, ages four and 17, was hired at the center in October 2017.
Last May, she informed her manager she could not come to work because a teacher at her younger child’s daycare center tested positive for the coronavirus, which caused the entire facility to close indefinitely, according to her court papers.
Lykyonosov was immediately asked to be placed on a waiting list for any available spot for child care for her preschooler, the suit states, however, due to the pandemic, there were no schools or camps available.
While off work from May 22 to July 14, Lykyonosov was in regular contact with an Olympia human resources employee who called her weekly, asking her to return to work, allegedly telling her, “You are not the only single parent” and “You are not the only one who is without child care,” court papers say.
The human resources employee told Lykyonosov that others in the same situation were able to report to work and threatened to stop the plaintiff’s benefits if she did not come back, the suit states.READ MORE: San Bernardino Surpasses 3K Total COVID-19 Deaths, Ventura Nears 900
Lykyonosov told the human resources employee that the comments were harassing and discriminatory and asked for more time to find care for her child, according to her court papers.
She claims in mid-July she informed the human resources employee that she was tired of the “harassing” phone calls and asked that communications happen over email instead.
Lykyonosov later received a letter from her employer telling her to return to work July 22 and she was fired that day for failing to do so, despite having advised management that she was still searching for child care, the suit states.
An Olympia representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The facility was under scrutiny last week a group of nurses held a public demonstration demanding the hospital, which is set to close March 31 for an unknown amount of time, stay open in Los Angeles during a surge in COVID-19 cases that is overwhelming the local healthcare system.
The closure of Olympia Medical Center will result in the layoffs of approximately 450 full-time and part-time employees, according to the facility.MORE NEWS: Woman Shot In Robbery Targeting Owner Of Beverly Hills Jewelry Store
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