A woman, who kindly donated a kidney so that her boss could receive one, felt “betrayed and heartbroken” after being fired afterwards.
Debbie Stevens, from Long Island, New York, became a part of a kidney donation chain so that her boss, Jacqueline Brucia, could move up the waiting list.
Brucia took Stevens up on the offer and the two women went under the knife on the same day in August 2011.
Following the operation, Stevens returned to work, but claimed her boss was inexplicably “curt and dismissive” and angry with her for needing to take short breaks or time off.
She was moved to another branch of the car dealership, Atlantic Automotive Group, before being fired last month, with her bosses citing performance reasons for her termination.
Stevens who has consulted a therapist after feeling emotionally damaged since the incident, said: “I feel ashamed and embarrassed about what has happened… it makes no sense to me. It was such a hostile work environment.”
She has filed a lawsuit accusing her former employer of discriminating against her over disabilities and her legal team is seeking damages and compensation for loss of earnings.
Lawyer, Jeffrey Brown, told Sky News: “She acted out of the goodness of her heart. She never expected anything in return. All she wanted was to be treated like a human being.”
He continued: “It is shocking to think that someone who just received the gift of life could be so callous and inhumane. I think it’s the ultimate, ultimate example of someone taking advantage of a kind spirited woman who really gave her kidney out of the goodness of her heart.”
While Atlantic Automotive Group did not respond to requests for an interview, they did release a statement saying: “It is unfortunate that one employee has used her own generous act to make up a groundless claim.
“Atlantic Auto treated her (Stevens) appropriately and acted honourable and fairly at every turn.”