Former Employee Alleges COVID-19 Disability Discrimination Against Molina

On Wednesday a case was filed in the Central District Court of California against Molina Healthcare. The case was filed by a former employee, and alleges disability discrimination regarding a disability acquired due to COVID-19.

The plaintiff was an employee of Molina Healthcare in good standing for over 10 years as a reconciliation specialist in the Medicare department, the complaint said. The plaintiff said they contracted COVID-19 in December 2020 and was ill for over a month. The plaintiff’s husband also contracted COVID-19 and had an extreme course, resulting in hospitalization and receiving oxygen for a month.

As a result of this medical situation, the plaintiff became severely depressed and began receiving medication and therapy for the symptoms, the complaint said. She received FMLA leave for her condition, but was still experiencing severe symptoms upon the expiration of that leave.

The filing said that Molina began to demand a return to work upon the expiration of the FMLA leave, but the plaintiff asserted that the defendants did not make any actions to accommodate her disability and eventually terminated her position.

The plaintiff also asserts that prior to her termination, she worked overtime that was not compensated for and that Molina required her to work from home, but did not compensate her for the internet and data usage that this requirement made necessary.

The plaintiff is suing for disability discrimination, retaliation, failure to accommodate, failure to engage in the interactive process for disability accommodation, wrongful termination, unpaid overtime, and unreimbursed expenses. The plaintiff is represented by the Buchsbaum Haag.