HomeNewsLocalLAUSD Aide Alleges She Was Terminated While on Leave for Workplace Injury

LAUSD Aide Alleges She Was Terminated While on Leave for Workplace Injury

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A woman is suing Los Angeles Unified, alleging she was terminated from her non-teaching position in 2023 while on medical leave for injuries she suffered when she was tackled while trying to intervene in a screaming match between two students.

Claudia Carolina Palacios’ Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit alleges discrimination, hostile work environment, retaliation, failure to provide reasonable accommodations and engage in the interactive process, failure to prevent discrimination, harassment or retaliation, negligent hiring, supervision and retention and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Palacios seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages in the suit brought Monday. An LAUSD representative issued a statement Friday stating the district does not comment on pending or ongling litigation.

Palacios, now 43, was hired in 2002 and was a special education assistant. She was hurt on the job in September 2022 after being tackled while trying to intervene and settle a dispute between two students screaming at each other, the suit states. Palacios suffered neck and back sprains and a contusion to her right leg, all of which required medical attention, according to the suit.

Palacios suffered a panic attack the next month that was so severe she vomited and was related to the tackling and caused her to relive the earlier events, according to the suit, which further states that a doctor put her on medical leave until February 2023 and later until June of that year after she was diagnosed with both post-traumatic stress and adjustment disorders.

Palacios remained in constant communication with a supervisor between May and June 2023 and completed what she could of a Family Medical Leave Act form that she turned in to her boss, the suit states.

But in mid-June 2023, Palacios could not access her work email and another supervisor told her she was terminated,  but could not explain why, the suit states. A human resources representative later stated that Palacios’ termination was effective as of April of that year, when the plaintiff was still on medical leave, the suit states.

Palacios has experienced economic losses and suffered emotional distress due to losing her job, according to the suit.

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