A former office worker for a Walnut furniture business is suing her ex-employer, alleging she was wrongfully fired this summer because she tested positive for the coronavirus and took time off to recover.
Priscilla Perez’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit allegations against the One Perfect Choice furniture store include wrongful termination, disability discrimination and intentional infliction of emotional distress. She seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages in the suit filed Thursday.
Perez was hired as an office assistant for the business on Valley Boulevard last December, and she received good performance reviews, the suit states. She tested positive for COVID-19 on June 29, sought medical treatment and was identified by law as disabled, the suit states.
Perez told management that she would be on a disability leave for 10 days, according to the suit.
She recovered and was permitted to return to work, but her supervisor “began giving her the runaround” and told her to file for unemployment benefits, the suit states. He also informed her that the business could not afford to keep her even though management had hired additional employees and provided current employees with raises, according to the suit.
One Perfect Choice did not pay Perez for the time she was off suffering from the coronavirus as required by law, the suit states. Perez complained of disability discrimination, but her supervisor allegedly retaliated by firing her on July 18.
Management told Perez she lost her job because the company had to reorganize due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but she believes the explanation was a pretext for discrimination because no reorganization occurred, the suit states.
Before firing Perez, the company never worked with Perez to see if she could perform other duties due to her restrictions, the suit states.
A One Perfect Choice representative could not be reached for comment.