After taking leave from her job to get a mastectomy, breast cancer survivor Vivienne Parra was fired from her job the day before she was scheduled to go back to work, allegedly because she had taken too much medical leave.
Parra took three weeks of leave to undergo cancer treatment and a mastectomy in 2009, followed by three more weeks when she delivered a baby in Oceanside, California, reports NBC News.
Parra says she always gave her employer, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, advance notice and documentation whenever she had to take medical leave.
Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center allegedly fired her by claiming that “she no longer desired employment,” according to Parra's lawsuit.
However, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center claims that Parra did not file the paperwork to request time off and that she had run out of days to use.
Parra told NBC News: “I put all my effort into this job and even how sick I was I came in. I didn’t have my hair, I’d come in, and I worked hard and I was pregnant; tired from day one.”
“I hope the managers I worked for understand all I wanted was help from them so I could pursue what I needed to do to get better."
Parras’ attorney David Scher added: “Employers are using the fact that their employees are on leave as a way to get rid of them."
If Parra was fired for seeking breast cancer treatment, then Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center may be in violation of federal laws that protect workers with disabilities from discrimination at the workplace.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission conducted a three-year investigation of Parra’s case and said that she “was discharged based on her disability in violation of the [Americans with Disabilities Act],” reports the Washington Post.