Woman sues non-profit for wrongful termination

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Oct. 4, 2013, 3:03pm

HOUSTON - Harris County resident Saima Malik seeks more than $100,000 in damages from LifeGift Organ Donation Center for wrongful termination.

Court documents filed Sept. 30 in Houston federal court claim the non-profit fired Malik in response to a positive drug test.

According to the plaintiff, the drug the defendant found in her system was an anxiety treatment drug prescribed by her psychiatrist.

LifeGift employed Malik as a donation recovery specialist whose primary responsibility is to transport donated organs and tissue to and from various locations for transplants.

On Dec. 15, 2011, some nine months after she was hired, the claimant got into a vehicular accident while on the clock.

She went through the proper channels in connection with reporting accidents and was required by the respondent's human resources department to undergo a post-wreck drug test.

The suit explains that on Jan. 10, 2012, the test returned positive for the presence of benzodiazepines, which prompted LifeGift to suspend Malik.

It adds the complainant was required to submit to an examination as well as see a psychiatrist handpicked by the defendant instead of her own in order to keep her job.

Malik returned to work on Feb. 10, 2012, only to be further disciplined and scrutinized, the original petition says.

LifeGift fired the claimant on July 5, 2012, for supposedly being tardy though "other similarly situated employees were late numerous times and were not discharged."

"The defendant's action, including suspending and ultimately terminating the plaintiff have created liability on behalf of the defendant," the suit says.

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney LaShawn A. Williams of the L.A. Williams Law Firm P.C. in Houston is representing Malik.

Case No. 4:13-CV-2879

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