Health Company Sued Over FLSA and Discrimination Claims

Palomar Health and Palomar Medical Center Escondido (collectively, Palomar) are under suit from plaintiff Evelyn Dessamero-Sison, both individually and on behalf of other members of the general public similarly situated, over allegations that Palomar engaged in violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Business and Professions Code, as well as discrimination. The suit was filed Thursday in the Southern District of California.

In December 2014, Sison began working for the defendant as a nursing supervisor. Her employment ended in May of 2019. She explains that she “performed her job in a capable and competent manner and was commended for doing so.” Despite her alleged favorable performance, she was denied the benefits, protections, and simple rules of the FLSA even though Palomar is subject to adhere to its requirements. By failing to follow these benefits, protections, and rules, Palomar explicitly and willfully violated the FLSA, as none of the exemption categories applied to the employees in question.

Sison asserted that Palomar willfully failed to compensate its employees properly for overtime hours worked due to calculation errors. She further explained that the time system would often clock workers out for a lunch break, despite the fact that they were still working.

Palomar’s actions, which were allegedly committed “neither in good faith nor with reasonable grounds to believe that its actions and omissions were not a violation of the FLSA,” lead the plaintiff to request liquidated damages, pre-judgement and post-judgement interest, reasonable attorney’s fees, and the costs of this action for herself and the class.

According to the plaintiff, Palomar committed further offense by engaging in an “unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent business act or practice” in violation of the Business & Professions Code. Because they failed to properly compensate their employees, the plaintiff is accusing Palomar of “illegal and unfair competition.”

Lastly, Sison is accusing Palomar of harassing her due to her race, national origin, and disability. She believes these factors played a significant role in her eventual termination and passing over for advancement opportunities. The discrimination was made known to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, who provided Sison with the right to sue.

The class action is being brought on behalf of Sison and “all current and former nonexempt employees of Palomar who have worked for Palomar in the state of California.” The perceived FLSA violations extends to Palomar employees in the last three years, whereas the Business and Professions Code violation extends to Palomar employees in the last four years. In an effort to gain class certification, Sison describes that a class action is the “appropriate method for the fair and efficient adjudication of this controversy.”

The plaintiff is seeking favorable judgement against the defendant, penalties and restitution, compensatory and statutory damages, class certification, an order enjoying Palomar from further engaging in the aforementioned unlawful acts, a trial by jury, litigation costs, as well as any other relief deemed just and proper by the Court.The plaintiff is represented by Sullivan Law Group.