Former Nevada County Jail nurse sues county, California Forensic Medical Group
June 15, 2017
A former jail nurse has sued Nevada County and the medical group that serves the Wayne Brown Correctional Facility, arguing a loan given to a superior led to a hostile work environment.
Paula Lewis filed suit late last month against the county and the California Forensic Medical Group. She alleges that a series of loans to her supervisor led to hostile and retaliatory treatment, including reduced hours and missed opportunities for full-time work.
Lewis asks for back pay and lost benefits, as well as general and compensatory damages for emotional distress.
"This is an action brought for wrongful termination and breach of employment agreement, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, negligent supervision and retention, negligent interference with prospective economic advantage, and intentional infliction of emotional distress," the suit states.
A hearing in the case is scheduled for September.
Lewis' Nevada City attorney, M. Catherine Jones, and the Nevada County counsel declined comment. The medical group's attorney couldn't be reached for comment.
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According to the suit, Lewis in August 2013 offered a $2,000 loan to her medical group supervisor — who isn't a named defendant — after he talked about his financial difficulties. The supervisor then asked for $5,000, citing mortgage and legal woes.
A month later the supervisor asked for more money, with additional requests following in December, the suit claims.
"Each time (the supervisor) approached Plaintiff for a loan, it was during work hours at the Wayne Brown Correctional Facility," the lawsuit states. "In January 2014, (his) total indebtedness to Plaintiff was $8,950."
The suit states that the supervisor told Lewis he wanted no one to know about his debt. He grew disrespectful when talking to her, and around June 2014 he began reducing her work hours. Lewis asked for more work, didn't receive it and failed to get an available full-time position.
Lewis in April 2016 sent a demand letter to her supervisor. The next month he repaid $8,500 and then continued to reduce her work hours, the lawsuit states.
Her last working day was July 28, 2016. She asked in August and September for work, but never received another shift, the court record states.
To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4239.
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