Pittsburgh Health Company Sued for Employee Discrimination

A former employee filed a discrimination lawsuit against HM Health Solutions Inc. on Wednesday.  The complaint was filed by Pennsylvania resident Sainath Sindhe, and claims that he was terminated from his position at the Pittsburgh-based health company because of his race. 

Sindhe, who is Indian, was hired as HMHS’s vice president of product development and management in July 2018. During the two years he spent at the company, it underwent a series of reorganizations and layoffs. Consequently, he had four different direct supervisors: Balajee Sethuraman, Michael Malec, Sandra Stefanic and Gloria Romeo. Stefanic and Romeo are both white, non-immigrants, court documents state.

During his time with the company, Sindhe claims he received positive performance reviews during check-in meetings with all four supervisors. However, in his annual performance review in January 2020, Sindhe’s then-supervisor Romeo rated his work performance as “Off Track” based on undocumented input from his previous supervisor, Stefanic. In March 2020, Romeo placed Sindhe on a 30-day Corrective Action Plan. Areas of concern identified in the CAP included minor grammatical mistakes in a draft presentation by a member of Sindhe’s department, uncertainty among Sindhe’s team members about potential restructuring and a delay in issuing paper checks to a client. 

“While the CAP identified specific incidents that occurred at HMHS in the past, the plan detailed very few objectives about Sindhe’s performance going forward beyond vague directives that Sindhe needed to ‘complete this plan immediately,’ ‘demonstrate accountability,’ and ‘make improvements,’ the suit states. 

During his four-week CAP period, Sindhe submitted regular status reports, and claims there were no “critical defects” in his job performance. Despite this, he was terminated in April 2020. 

“While Sindhe was singled out for his alleged performance concerns, other white and/or non-immigrant executives were not disciplined for performance problems that were similar or worse than those incidents identified in Sindhe’s CAP,” court documents state. For instance, another employee took responsibility for the check delay mentioned in Sindhe’s CAP plan, yet he was not disciplined in any way, the suit alleges. The plaintiff is seeking back pay, front pay and prejudgment and continuing interest.

He represented by Marcus B. Schneider and Nicholas Pahuta of Steele Schneider