Humana has responded to a discrimination suit from a former government business executive, saying that she was fired after sending sexually suggestive text messages to a subordinate.
Sandra Guerra, M.D., filed suit against the health insurance giant in mid-August, saying that the harassment allegations were a pretext for her firing and that she was instead terminated because of her race and gender. She’s seeking between $250,000 and $1 million in damages.
Guerra served as chief medical officer and vice president of its government business from 2012 until her February 2020 firing.
The suit was originally filed in Texas state courts but was moved to federal courts by Humana. In the insurer’s response, it says that it conducted an internal investigation once the subordinate came forward that substantiated his claims.
For example, the subordinate messaged Guerra saying, “I might have to get off at 10 AM,” to which she responded, “Sexually? I’m in a conference,” according to Humana’s response filing.
The filing also cites other text message exchanges between the two.
“Defendants admit that [Human Government Business] terminated Plaintiff for a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason unrelated to her gender, color, or national origin, namely, her admitted violation of Humana’s Harassment and Critical Offenses policies,” the insurer wrote in the court documents.
Humana is asking federal courts to dismiss the case and award it costs and attorneys fees.
Guerra’s attorney, Mauro F. Ruiz, declined to comment on the filing to the San Antonio Express-News, which first reported on the lawsuit. Humana previously told the outlet that it does not comment on pending litigation.
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