Former employee sues Sierra Vista for discrimination



A former Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center employee alleges she was forced to leave her position because she requested accommodations for her medical needs.

A complaint filed on Sept. 6 against Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center and Tenet Healthcare claims that the companies violated the California Family Rights Act by discriminating against former employee Kristin Hoover for taking family medical leave and retaliating against her because of it.

Hoover was hired by Sierra Vista on July 22, 2013, as chief human resources officer, and she became pregnant with her first child in June 2017.

The complaint claims that Hoover suffered from extreme morning sickness and became depressed to the point where she had difficulty leaving the house, so she sought medical treatment and was diagnosed with severe antepartum depression, which her physician attributed to a hormonal imbalance related to her pregnancy.

As a result of her diagnoses, the complaint claims that Hoover sought an accommodation for her disability and was given a reduced schedule and/or worked remotely. During this time, the complaint states, both organizations frequently required Hoover to work more than her reduced hourly schedule and interrupted her after-work hours.

In September 2017, Hoover returned to work full time until the birth of her daughter in February 2018.

According to the complaint, during and after the birth of her child, while she was on a pregnancy disability leave, co-workers continually interrupted her leave with questions and requests for assistance.

Hoover returned to work July 2018, with direction from her health care providers to work part time because she was still suffering from symptoms of depression and other medical conditions. When she returned to her position, the complaint states, turnover in her department and others resulted in Hoover doing the work of two positions on top of her own. The complaint claims Hoover was subjected to "extreme pressure" to return to full-time work and was repeatedly asked how long her condition was going to continue.

In August 2018, Hoover returned full time but continued to suffer from postpartum depression and, with the added stress, was diagnosed with shingles, a pituitary tumor, and hypothyroidism, the complaint alleges. Hoover took another leave, during which she was contacted regarding work-related issues, the complaint states.

When she returned from her leave in March 2019, Hoover expressed concern about her health and workload, requesting fewer hours and permission to hire temporary help, which the hospital denied.

On May 3, 2019—after being told she could work fewer hours once she helped Sierra Vista finish accreditation surveys—the complaint states that Hoover wasn't allowed to take a part-time position and felt forced to resign due to her medical condition. She requested to be provided with a severance package since she had not chosen to leave her position, the complaint claims.

Instead of addressing Hoover's requests, the complaint alleges that on July 10, she was instructed to work the remainder of the day and a compliance officer would be at her desk to clean out her office, return her keys, and badge.

New Times reached out to Sierra Vista but did not receive a response before press time. Δ

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