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Former Employees Speak Out as Molina Healthcare Announces Nationwide Layoffs

DEL PASO HEIGHTS -- This week Molina Healthcare announced it was streamlining its operations nationwide, cutting approximately 10 percent of its corporate and health care jobs.

In a written statement to FOX40 Molina said the following:

"Molina Healthcare is undertaking several initiatives to streamline operations, increase efficiencies and improve our financial performance. Part of this process is a reorganization of the company's structure, which will reduce the number of corporate and health plan positions at the company by approximately 10 percent. We thank all of our departing colleagues for all they have done to accomplish the Molina mission. We will be working to assist our departing employees in many ways, including severance and outplacement assistance, to ease the transition."

But employees at the Molina Medical Clinic on Marysville Boulevard in Del Paso Heights said eight of 20 workers were laid off after being promised for 2 months that no one would lose their jobs.

Those lucky enough to keep their jobs will be transferred to a Molina clinic on Norwood Avenue five miles away when the Del Paso Heights location closes.

“It had been my dream to be in the medical field," said medical assistant Crystal Vivat. "And I grew up going to the Molina office myself, so being there felt like a connection, like I was giving back to the community."

Vivat and her colleagues say they were blind-sided when they lost their jobs at the clinic.

But some are asking -- who's easing the transition for patients?

Del Paso Heights was already considered a medical desert, with its limited health care clinics. Vivat said it will be hardest on the lowest income patients without cars.

“It’s very hard for them to travel, they go, 'Oh my god, how am I gonna get there,'" Vivat said.

But it’s hard on her too. She says she was fired right before the company-wide layoffs.

"They didn’t like that I spoke up and asked if I had my job,” Vivat said.

Vivat said she was terminated Friday because she called human resources a week ago to ask if she was losing her job and was told she made a disturbance. She says she wonders if the company was reaching for reasons to fire employees ahead of the impending lay-offs when they made their promise to her and her colleagues that they would be transferred to a new clinic.