This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Breast Cancer Patient And Decorated Veteran Files Suit Claiming She Was Fired By Former Sentara Medical Center Because Of Her Illness

Claimant says dismissal illustrates astonishing hypocrisy by a health care provider

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Jan. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Vivienne Parra, a decorated U.S. Army veteran and former employee of Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center (formerly Potomac Hospital), has filed a civil complaint against Sentara alleging retaliation and violations of her rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, located in Woodbridge, Virginia, specializes in cancer treatment, and is being accused by Parra who suffered multiple bouts with breast cancer at work, while her decorated Marine Corps husband served in war zones as a sergeant. Former U.S. Army Medical Specialist Parra is also a decorated veteran, receiving the Army Achievement Medal for exceptionally meritorious service in Somalia in 2003.   

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20111202/DC16437LOGO)

Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center characterizes itself as a cancer treatment facility that features "commitment to providing a patient-centered approach to treating breast cancer." The lawsuit charges Sentara completely failed to live up to that commitment in Specialist Parra's case.

Parra served as an employee at Sentara starting in August 2006 until her termination in 2009. She worked as a registrar for a year before her promotion to an insurance verification specialist. While six weeks pregnant with her second child in April 2008, Parra was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Parra took leave under FMLA to undergo a radical mastectomy and chemotherapy, all while managing her high-risk pregnancy. In November 2008, Parra took leave to give birth to her child and resume chemotherapy. Parra attempted to return to work in January 2009 but Sentara allegedly failed to accommodate her disability and retaliated against her use of FMLA leave.

Despite glowing performance evaluations and support from co-workers, Sentara proceeded to demote Parra, even though her workload was increasing heavily. Sentara then relocated her after she contested such treatment as a violation of the law. While still working in July 2009 through ongoing chemotherapy, Parra discovered she required a second radical mastectomy. Parra requested FMLA leave for the second mastectomy but was denied by a Sentara supervisor who said she was "no different than anyone else" and "for a cancer patient, you [Parra] don't look sick." Sentara did permit Parra to take FMLA leave five days later. In September 2009, Parra contacted Sentara informing them she was ready to return to work only to receive a phone call stating that she was fired. The suit states that a letter from Sentara listed false reasons for Parra's firing, alleging she "no longer desired employment."

"Sentara acted with disregard for the law, ethics and in the most hypocritical and uncompassionate way," stated R. Scott Oswald, managing principal, The Employment Law Group® law firm.  "I expect that as a decorated veteran herself and a mother, Mrs. Parra will be compensated by Sentara and the outcome will send a message to all health care providers to treat their employees as well as their patients."

Based on the suit, Parra could be awarded compensation for lost wages, benefits, emotional distress, and loss of reputation.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

DOW 17,976.31 +263.65 1.49%
S&P 500 2,086.24 +25.22 1.22%
NASDAQ 4,947.4410 +56.2220 1.15%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs