A health worker in Los Angeles was fired from a dialysis clinic shortly after publicly criticizing parent company DaVita during a political rally.
The worker spoke at a workers union event in Sacramento earlier this week calling for more regulation of dialysis clinics.
The rally was held at the Capitol by Service Employees International Union, which is trying to unionize dialysis workers.
Technician Emerson Padua has been a part of the unionizing efforts.
He spoke in support of a bill that would impose mandatory staffing ratios at dialysis clinics.
He told the crowd that one of his employers, DaVita, sometimes has just one staffer per eight kidney disease patients, which is unsafe.
"They are putting dialysis workers in a position to fail," Padua said.
Padua says DaVita called him less than 24 hours after he made his speech to say he was terminated.
He says he has been singled out for his organizing.
"Ever since my union activity, I've been targeted," he said.
In a statement, DaVita said the firing was not related to Padua's support of legislation or the union and that employees have a legal right to support these efforts.
SEIU has filed an unlawful termination suit with the National Labor Relations Board.
The bill to instate staffing ratios at dialysis clinics passed the Senate Appropriations committee this week.
It would also require annual inspections of dialysis clinics.
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