Motivational speaker Tony Robbins refused to allow an employee to work from home after she recovered from COVID-19 in a coma, the employee alleges in a lawsuit filed Wednesday. In addition, she said Robbins falsely claimed to have intervened in her medical care in a public interview. Despina Kosta, a 52-year-old New Yorker, accused the life coach, his company Robbins Research International, and his wife Bonnie of violating the Americans With Disabilities Act and other employment accommodation laws. She tested positive for the coronavirus in April and was quickly placed in a coma until early May while she breathed through a ventilator. When she awoke, she found it difficult to walk or even hold a cell phone to her ear, and she asked her supervisor if she could work a few hours per day from home, a request the superior allegedly denied.
As a result, Kosta has been without access to her work email or pay, which she said was $250,000 per year before her bout with the virus. A lawyer for Robbins told The New York Times the suit is “ridiculous and baseless” and that the company continues to pay for her medical insurance. A lawyer for the company said the corporation had not fired Kosta but that being boxed out of the company’s internal systems has rendered it impossible for Kosta to do her job.