Four former employees of Methodist Hospital of Southern California — one from Altadena, another from Santa Clarita, and two from Azusa — are suing the Arcadia facility, alleging age discrimination and retaliation for complaining about health and safety in the workplace during the coronavirus.
The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit was brought Tuesday by Fiona John, Shelly Perks, Lisa Marquez and Harold Hayes, who were scheduled to appear with their attorneys at a news conference today to talk about the lawsuit.
A spokesman for the hospital did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
After multiple reports of health and safety violations stemming from COVID-19 protocols, and after an influx of younger and less seasoned healthcare workers, John, Perks, Marquez, and Hayes, a radiology technician, “systematically began to experience discrimination and retaliation,” the suit states.
About the time of their firings, the healthcare workers had provided testimony to city officials, the media, and internal managers and supervisors at Methodist Hospital about their concerns of what they believe were inadequate COVID-19 protections, understaffing and expired inventory which allegedly directly impacted patient and employee safety, the suit states.
John, 59, of Altadena, was “systematically targeted” during her 16 years of service to Methodist Hospital, where she prioritized patient care of mothers and their babies and raised concerns regarding COVID-19 precautions and other departmental issues before being fired earlier this year, the suit states.
Perks, a 46-year-old single mother and 13-year employee from Santa Clarita who worked in the ICU, was fired after speaking out about her COVID-19 health and safety concerns, the suit states.
Marquez, 63, of Azusa, has been a nurse for over three decades and worked for four years at Methodist Hospital before she too was fired in April — while attempting to return to work from medical leave — for expressing concern about coronavirus safety conditions, the suit states.
Hayes, a 59-year-old radiologist and CT technologist who also is from Azusa, was employed at the hospital for more than 35 years and was fired soon after signing a letter to the Methodist Board of Directors and providing testimony to city officials about coronavirus protocol, the suit states.