Protesting Dialysis Tech Fired After Capitol Rally

A man who has spent two decades as a kidney dialysis tech for a pair of large clinic chains is fired by one of those companies.  The firing coming just on day after Emerson Padua spoke at a State Capitol rally for a bill that aims to increase staffing levels at dialysis clinics.

Padua is still employed by Fresenius Kidney Care in Riverside County, but on Friday he said it was just hours after his return from Sacramento that DaVita told him his time there was finished.

Padua and some of his co-workers have been involved with an effort to bring the Service Employees International Union into their clinics, and he claimed he is being targeted for that effort, which he said should not stop the other workers. "They should not fear," Padua insisted. "I will continue to lead, and I will continue to fight. Everyone should keep their head up, and this should be more of a reason why we need to unionize."

DaVita sent KFBK a written statement that claimed the can not comment on specifics of Padua's termination, but that the decision to fire him was made before this week's rally and that it was based on his work performance.

The company also says it does not terminate employees who speak in support of the union or any legislation, and that it respects their legal right to stand up on either side of the issues.

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