HomeCity NewsWoman Sues Music Firm Over COVID-Related Firing

Woman Sues Music Firm Over COVID-Related Firing

By City News Service

A woman is suing the Burbank-based Mexican music label Gerencia 360, alleging she experienced discrimination due to her gender from the company CEO, who also told her she did not have the “luxury” of getting sick when she experienced COVID-19 symptoms before being wrongfully fired in 2022.

Emma Esmeralda Olesak-Plascencia’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit alleges wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, whistleblower retaliation, failure to accommodate and engage in the interactive process, negligent hiring, supervision and retention and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The 45-year-old plaintiff also names as a defendant company CEO Luis Del Villar, who was her supervisor. She seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

Del Villar could not immediately be reached for comment on the suit filed on Dec. 18.

Olesak-Plascencia, now 45, was hired in March 2022 and a month later experienced fatigue, body aches, headaches, runny nose, ear pain, sweating and fever, the suit states. The plaintiff, who has asthma, reported her condition to Del Villar and said she needed to consult a doctor to make sure she had not contracted COVID-19, the suit states.

“We cannot have the luxury to get sick here,” Del Villar told Olesak-Plascencia, according to the suit.

Olesak-Plascencia later tested positive for COVID-19 and informed Del Villar, but she was not allowed to take time off to recover, according to the suit, which further states the plaintiff was later diagnosed by her psychologist with anxiety, insomnia, depression and stress.

Meanwhile, Del Villar allegedly became more hostile, telling Olesak-Plascencia, “You can’t do anything right. You are an idiot,” while insinuating that his former assistant, a male, did a better job, the suit states.

Olesak-Plascencia felt helpless and often apologized, saying she would try to improve when his criticism was constructive, the suit states.

The plaintiff reached out to human resources for a second time for help in dealing with Del Villar. She also spoke with the company’s business counselor, who told her, “I understand your response. Don’t worry, I will help you navigate this,” the suit states.

But on Aug. 22, 2022, the business counselor told Olesak-Plascencia she was being fired because Del Villar was “unwilling to change his behavior,” the suit states.

“Don’t take it personally, thank you and goodbye,” the counselor told the plaintiff, according to the suit.

Olesak-Plascencia says the company denied her request for reinstatement to a different position in which she would not have to interact with Del Villar.

First published in the January 6 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Most Popular

[bsa_pro_ad_space id=3]