For additional information regarding this case, please contact Jason Yang.
Kaiser Forced Manager Out, She Claims
By BARBARA WALLACE
LOS ANGELES (CN) – A mammography program director caught a technician fudging exam records, and was punitively forced out of her job, she claims in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Rhonda Rowley sued The Permanente Medical Group, dba JML Represents Whistleblower Against Kaiser Permanente, and her supervisor, Rebecca Grant, for violations of California labor codes, California health and safety codes and the Fair Employment and Housing Act, including wrongful termination, constructive termination and disability discrimination.
According to Rowley’s complaint, she had worked for Kaiser through several promotions until she held the position of Assistant Director of Diagnostic Imaging, under Director of Diagnostic Imaging, Rebecca Grant. As such, Rowley was responsible for the entire mammography program, including supervising Radiology Technologists and Ultrasound Technologists and ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations, she says.
In May 2010, Rowley discovered that a non-party mammography technologist had not done the number of exams required by California law and thus “was ineligible to perform exams without a proctor present,” the complaint states. Rowley goes on to say she believes this technician “had not performed or completed a single mammogram within a period of over two (2) years,” but had figured out a way to falsify Kaiser’s computerized records to show her name as the performing technologist. (Parentheses in complaint.)
Rowley says she immediately brought the problem to Rebecca Grant’s attention, but “nothing was done to correct the compliance violation,” although Rowley continued to bring it up for the next year, according to the complaint.
Instead, Grant responded to Rowley’s concerns by “looking over the plaintiff’s performance with a microscope, trying to discover any minute issue with the plaintiff’s performance. In fact, in or around Jan. 4, 2011, defendant Grant called plaintiff and told her that she wanted plaintiff to leave the department, instructed plaintiff to ‘hurry up and find another job,’ and to ‘move on and find another job that does not involve technologists,'” Rowley’s complaint states.
Rowley says Grant began to interview Rowley’s staff behind her back, looking for reasons to fire her, and wrote her up several times based on factors that were beyond her control.
In Feb. 2012, Kaiser put Rowley on administrative leave, according to the complaint. As a result, she “was forced to check into an emergency room with chest pains, shortness of breath and anxiety,” followed by a two-week medical leave, the complaint states.
Five days into her leave, Grant demanded that she submit an “action plan” regarding her latest write-up, Rowley says, which prompted her to give a 30-day notice of resignation. “However, defendant Kaiser effectuated her termination immediately,” the complaint states.
Rowley seeks general, special, punitive and exemplary damages, loss of earnings, declaratory and injunctive relief, attorneys’ fees, prejudgment interest, costs of suit and a jury trial. She is represented by Nicholas W. Sarris, Jason M. Yang, Denisse Lopez C. of JML Law in Woodland Hills.