Brooklyn woman claims MTA wrongfully fired her for taking too many sick days
A Brooklyn woman says she was wrongfully fired from her job with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for taking too many sick days.
Karla Sanchez says she had a legitimate reason for her absences and was working to fix the problem. Nearly two weeks ago, she says she was fired from her job as a train operator.
Sanchez tells News 12 the MTA’s reason was her absences, but that a lot of those days missed were days she was told she could not work.
While still in her probationary period last winter, she tells News 12 she had an ear infection and stayed home for four days with a fever.
At the start of the pandemic, she says she was exposed to someone who tested positive for the coronavirus. Although her test came back negative, Sanchez says she was asked to remain in quarantine for 14 days.
She tells News 12 there was an incident at work, where the operator she was training with had to take a drug test, as did she--for what she says was a mistake he made while on the job.
While waiting for the results, Sanchez says she was not allowed to resume training, accounting for absences.
Sanchez says that with those issues piling up, she called in and was informed that her probationary period was extended for an additional six months.
“They had penalized me for the four days when I had a fever, when COVID first started, the days I had COVID, and they used those days that my trainer had the incident as days missed in training, which was not even my fault,” said Sanchez.
Since August, Sanchez says she has had to take an additional four days to help care for her mom, who is in poor health and had suffered a stroke.
On Jan. 13, Sanchez says she was called in and was fired.
A spokesperson from the MTA tells News 12, “Ms. Sanchez was terminated for cause after being counseled on her obligations and even receiving a second chance by way of a six-month extension to her probationary period. The period of her quarantine was an excused absence and not counted against her.”
Sanchez claims she even provided documentation and medical records proving that she needed to take those days to care for her mom, which is why she believes that she was fired for circumstances outside her control.