Encompass Health Sued by Former Director for Discrimination

On Thursday a case against Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Murrieta was removed to the Central District of California. The case concerns the hospital’s treatment of an employee and includes allegations of race discrimination, hostile workplace environment, and disability discrimination.

The plaintiff, the state court complaint said, was hired as a director of business development for the Encompass Rehabilitation system and had prior work experience and vendor contacts that she brought with her to the new position. She alleged that she immediately began receiving abusive language and a hostile environment upon starting the job, in the form of racial slurs, condescending behavior, and immediate loss of privilege regarding office space and other factors.

The complaint said the plaintiff had a prior ADA-recognized diagnosis of dyslexia, but was criticized and received complaints for this at her new role, which exacerbated the condition. The plaintiff also said she experienced increasing stress-related symptoms due to the harassment, which she reported to HR.

Finally, when the stress resulted in her needing to take a brief medical leave, the plaintiff said she was fired without accommodation for her medical situation. When the plaintiff protested the termination while she was out on leave to headquarters, she said she was dismissed without further explanation. After the termination, the plaintiff alleged that the former employer defamed her work in the marketplace.

The plaintiff is suing Encompass for race discrimination, racial harassment due to hostile workplace environment, disability discrimination, failure to investigate from HR and from corporate, failure to mediate or intervene in the hostile situation, failure to accommodate under ADA, retaliation, defamation and wrongful termination.

The plaintiff is represented by the Law Offices of Maryann Gallagher. The defendants are represented by Littler Mendelson