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Litigation over closure of fertility clinic

Many occupations in California and across the country require a worker to spend a significant amount of his or her life in education and training. As a result, the worker becomes a valuable member of a team. Unfortunately, litigation in another state may interest those in California in a similar profession.

The lawsuit involves a fertility program at a hospital that had been in operation for just under 40 years. The plaintiff in the lawsuit is a doctor who had worked in the program for approximately 20 years. She claims that although the program was closed, she could have remained at the hospital where she could perform surgeries that saved fertility and interpret ultrasounds. However, she claims that the hospital declined to do so because she had previously voiced concerns over some of the fertility program's practices and because of her disability.

Specifically, the doctor raised concerns about the decision to implant embryos in a patient because the sperm and the patient both could have been exposed to the Zika virus, an illness that can have a significant role in a pregnancy and the development of a child. Apparently, the couple had traveled in areas prone to the infection. Because the baby has not been born, it is difficult to determine if the virus will play a role. Some symptoms may not appear for years.

She also claims that her termination was the result of discrimination due to her disability. She explains that she worked 20 hours a week due to an injury suffered in Nov. 2015. Although her work schedule was supported by her doctor's order, she argues that hospital administration told staff members she was being terminated because she only worked part-time.

The hospital declined to comment on the lawsuit but did indicate that all four doctors who worked at the fertility clinic lost their jobs as a result of the closure. The plaintiff is seeking reinstatement at the same level of seniority and $75,000. Unfortunately, victims of wrongful termination and discrimination in California may be unsure of the best path to follow. An attorney with experience with litigation involving similar cases can help these workers fully understand their rights and take the necessary steps to protect their careers.

Source: vtdigger.org, "Fertility specialist sues DHMC for wrongful employment termination," Nora Doyle-Burr, Oct. 12, 2017

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