Former Tri-City Healthcare Exec Seeks Severance Over Allegedly Improper Firing

The former executive at Tri-City Healthcare District in Oceanside, Calif., has filed a legal claim seeking $445,000 in severance pay and more than $1 million in damages from the district, alleging he was terminated because he requested time off for medical reasons, according to a San Diego Union-Tribune report.

Steven Stein, the senior vice president of legal affairs and chief compliance officer who left the district in March, alleged Tri-City CEO Larry Anderson discriminated against him and other employees for taking a leave due to medical conditions. Mr. Stein's claims says he was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease in 2011, requiring multiple days off as his condition worsened, and the claim alleges Mr. Anderson made comments that he only "wants to hire healthy people" and that "Stein is never here," according to the report.

Allison Borkenheim, the hospital district's vice president for legal affairs, said in a statement that "Mr. Stein's attacks against Mr. Anderson can only be construed as an attempt to defame and demean Mr. Anderson and to undermine the significant accomplishments that Mr. Anderson has made while at Tri-City," according to the report. Mr. Stein could ultimately sue the district if it chooses to reject the claim.

At the time he was terminated, Mr. Stein earned a $297,000 base salary plus benefits. He is also pursuing separate punitive damages against Mr. Anderson expressly, which could exceed $500,000, according to the report.

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