Susan Vinci-Lucero, Top Tech Exec, Fired For Having Breast Cancer, Lawsuit Says

Susan Vinci-Lucero fired breast cancer
By Julie Bort

A few months ago, Susan Vinci-Lucero was the senior vice president of marketing and product management for Good Technology, and its only female senior-level exec. And then she got breast cancer. And then she lost her job.

The good news is, after a double mastectomy, she's on the mend. But now the how and why of her job has become the subject of a lawsuit.

Vinci-Lucero is suing. She says she was fired by Good -- which makes mobile enterprise technology for companies -- for being sick.

"They fired me," she said. "I couldn't believe it. I couldn't predict it. 'We want someone here all the time,' they told me, 'not someone going to doctors' appointments.' They said it was bad for business, that my comings and goings are disruptive to team."

Good says it did not fire her, and that Vinci-Lucero resigned, a spokesperson told Business Insider.

Firing someone because they are ill violates a whole bunch of laws, particularly the California Family Rights Act, which has some strict rules about these things, according to Vinci-Lucero's lawyer.

More: 8 Workplace Rights That You May Not Realize You Have

Vinci-Lucero's side of the story, as documented by the emails that her lawyer filed with the court, goes like this: She was doing well at work, with good reviews, meriting her full bonus in 2011. She got sick. When she returned from leave after surgery, she was told to go home. She talked to HR about it and then things got tricky. Her boss said her performance wasn't so great before she got sick. She was offered a severance package and at one point, also given an option to keep her job. But by the time that happened, she knew that the CEO and her boss didn't want her around, she told Business Insider.

Good's side of the story was sent to us in this statement from a company spokesperson.

Just prior to her lawsuit Good Technology Corporation learned that Ms. Vinci-Lucero had resigned and would not be returning to work following her leave of absence. Ms. Vinci-Lucero was not fired from her employment and certainly was not discriminated against on the basis of any medical condition or disability.

The Company follows all relevant state and federal law and takes great care to treat all of its employees with the utmost professional respect and dignity, especially when they experience personal hardship, health and family issues.

The Company is not free to discuss private personnel matters, including the health or leaves of absence of its employees as the Company respects the privacy rights of its employees with respect to such matters. However, the Company is confident that its actions with respect to Ms. Vinci-Lucero will be confirmed as humanitarian, generous, just and consistent with its commitment.

More: Gender Pay Gap Persists: New Female Grads Earn $7,600 Less Than Men

Whatever the outcome of this case, Vinci-Lucero came to Business Insider because she wanted to warn others, she told us.

"Know your rights. Protect yourself. Make sure your company is following the rules. I'm a marketing exec not an HR exec, I didn't know about things like disability," she says.

Had she felt like the company supported her and if she was still working for Good, she says that it could have been a shining moment for all of them. "I'm a marketing person. I would have made hay with it and how a software company lead the pack in supporting execs with cancer, in supporting women. Breast cancer is so prevalent, every other person knows someone who had it."

While the legal documents don't say how much money Vinci-Lucero is seeking with this suit, a representative of her lawyer told us that she'll argue for at least $6 million in damages, plus more to cover pain and suffering.

Below are more details, as filed with the court.

Susan Vinci-Lucero Wrongful Termination documents

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Dennis Faulkner

This should be easy to settle - either she was fired, or she wasn't -

November 20 2012 at 3:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Epilogue - I had the last laugh. This new supervisor that I had walked in on while he was stealing money from the company's fund? Shortly after he was hired, many of my coworkers started finding personal items gone from their desks. Some people lost a couple of CD players and a bunch of CDs (this was back in the late 80s, early 90s), others lost electronics like radios, some lost sentimental knickknacks, still others lost money from their desks. Anyway, within 6 mos after I was terminated, opened up the daily newspaper to see my former supervisor's son on the front page accused of robbing people, and when employees who'd lost personal stuff from work went to the PD to see if any of their missing stuff was there, most of it was found in the items recovered from their home. He was subsequently terminated himself. Never confirmed how those missing items wound up in his son's possession, but it doesn't take a Rhode's scholar to figure out where he got them. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

November 20 2012 at 1:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oops - meant to type "that his excuses WERE bullsh** and we both knew it."

November 20 2012 at 1:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sorry, Good Technology Corp, I don't believe you for a minute. Been there, done that, and unlike Ms. Lucero, I wasn't wealthy enough to retain a lawyer, not even one who would take my case on a contingency basis for being fired for whistleblowing on my supervisor who stole from our company fund - caught him red handed in the act. I was assured that there would be no backlash for coming forward, only to be told within 3 mos thereafter that my performance had "gone down" and all sorts of other excuses. I just cut the division director off and told him outright that his excuses well bullsh** and we both knew it. That this was direct retribution for turning in the new supervisor for stealing. So, no, don't expect me to believe your side of this story, Good - I'll take Ms Lucero's word for it on this one. I hope she gets what she's asking for and more from the jury that hears her case.

November 20 2012 at 12:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"I would have made hay with it and how a software company lead [sic] the pack in supporting execs with cancer, in supporting women."

What IS it with internet "writers"? LEAD goes into a pencil or a bullet casing. You should have said the "software company LED the pack". Good God -- I guess on-line "writers" only need to be semi-literate, not fully literate.

November 20 2012 at 12:45 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Maybe we should learn all the facts before forming an opinion

November 19 2012 at 7:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


November 19 2012 at 5:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Walt's comment

And the right thing is to not jump to conclusions, and get ALL the facts. Everyone has their side of the story. The truth usually is found somewhere in the middle.

November 19 2012 at 11:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

hope you kept copies of merit reviews

November 19 2012 at 5:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I can understand replacing her temporarily with an associate until she gets back up on her feet, but to fire her, that is totally unconscionable.

November 19 2012 at 4:04 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Whad Up Girl!

I hope you win Susan and I hope the judge and jury sock it to the "Good" Tech Company

November 19 2012 at 4:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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