A sales manager who was put on a ventilator while in a coma says she was denied accommodation to work from home when she was recovering.
Tony Robbins, the life coach and motivational speaker, discriminated against one of his employees by refusing to give her the shelter she needed to work from home after she faced a debilitating case of Covid-19 in the spring had submitted Wednesday.
The lawsuit also charges that Mr.. Robbins falsely claimed to have helped the worker recover by asking one of his friends to intervene in her care after she was placed on a ventilator in a medically induced coma.
The lawsuit filed in federal court in Manhattan accuses Mr.. Robbins; his firm Robbins Research International; and his wife Bonnie P. . Robbins, known as Sage, is in violation of several disability laws, including the Americans With Disabilities Act, which requires reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities.
The employee Despina Kosta worked for Mr. . Robbins has been for 18 years – the first nine in Europe and the last nine in the United States, where she worked in New York as a sales director or « Personal Results Specialist ». According to the lawsuit, she was one of the top-rated salespeople in the company.
At the start of the pandemic, the lawsuit claims sir. Robbins downplayed the severity of the coronavirus and urged his team to keep selling in-person events. woman. Kosta claims she has raised concerns about the approach but has been ignored.
In April, Ms.. Kosta, 52, developed a high fever and had Covid-19. She was from 12. April to 1. May was placed in a medically induced coma while being treated first at New York Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital and then New York Presbyterian Hospital / Weill Cornell Medical Center. Kosta.
Then woman. Kosta struggled to recover and found it difficult to walk or even hold a cell phone, she said.
woman. Kosta tried on 1. July to return to work and asked her supervisor and a personnel officer if she could work « just a few hours » a day while she recovered and regained her strength, she said in an interview Wednesday night. « They said no to that, » she said.
Since July has wife. Kosta said she was not given access to her work email or the company’s database, which stores information about the customers she served. She said she couldn’t work without this access. woman. Kosta said she did about 250 annually. Made a thousand dollars.
J. . Christopher Albanese, an attorney who represents women. Kosta said the company did not quit her, but that the lockout made her unable to do her job.
Jennifer Connelly, a spokeswoman for Mr.. . Robbins said the claims in the lawsuit were « ridiculous and unfounded. ”
She said that mrs. Kosta “remains a current employee” and the company “provided all necessary accommodation” and “continued to pay the full cost of her health insurance, although the legal obligation to do so ended in June. ”
woman. Kosta also said that remarks from Mr.. Robbins on a podcast had caused her distress.
In the podcast recorded in May, Mr. . Robbins described a co-worker who had a cough, a 102-degree fever and was “very scared. ”
« And so she went to the hospital, and then she felt short of breath and hyperventilated a little from fear, so she was immediately put on a ventilator, » he said.
Mr. . Robbins said after finding out the clerk had fallen into a coma, he called a doctor who knew people in the hospital. He said he asked his friend to call the hospital and the friend finally got through to the night doctor who eased the pressure on the ventilator.
« As a result, she opened her eyes four or five days later, » said Mr.. . Robbins said the episode showed that ventilators, at least with too much pressure, « do harm ». ”
In July, Ms.. Kosta said she was contacted directly by a customer in Poland who said he was listening to Mr.. Robbins Podcast and understood that Mr.. . Robbins had described woman. Kosta.
woman. Kosta listened to the podcast and said on Wednesday night that Mr.. . Robbin’s claim that he interfered with her treatment was completely false. She said she was ashamed because he described her as a « hysterical woman, weakling ». ”
The comments weren’t the first time mr. Robbins’ statements about a woman have been scrutinized. In April 2018, Mr.. Robbins apologized for women using the #MeToo movement to try to gain meaning and safety by attacking and destroying someone else. ”
woman. Connelly, the spokeswoman for Mr.. . Robbins said the organization has raised concerns for women. Kosta’s condition. “When we were informed, woman. Kosta had contracted Covid-19 and was hospitalized, Mr.. . Robbins and his organization made inquiries with compassion and support for them, ”she said.
She added: “Any suggestion from Ms.. Kosta, that RRI acted unprofessionally or in compliance with applicable laws in her situation or in the regular management is obviously wrong. ”
Tony Robbins, Employment, Coronavirus, Sage Robbins
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