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Hospital granted dad's request: no black nurses, lawsuit says

A nurse is suing a hospital that she worked for due to allegations of racial discrimination. The African-American plaintiff is reporting that her employer made her a victim of race discrimination when it agreed to a father's request that no black nurses be permitted to care for the man's newborn baby. Because racial discrimination is prohibited by Title VII, Los Angeles workers who find themselves the victims of this type of discrimination could bring similar suits if the same type of situation occurs with them.

The plaintiff is a neonatal intensive care nurse who worked for the defendant hospital for almost 25 years. According to the complaint from the 49-year-old nurse, the father of a baby that she was treating asked to speak to the nurse's supervisor. The father then informed the charge nurse that he didn't want any black nurses to care for his child while showing her a tattoo of a swastika on his body. The complaint alleges that the charge nurse then contacted the nurse manager who suggested that she assign the baby's care to another nurse. The black nurse was then reassigned due to her race. The nurse manager informed other staff members the next day that the father's request would be honored and a notice was posted on an assignment clipboard that stated: "No African-American nurse to take care of baby."

Lawyers for the hospital said that the notice should be removed and that the request should not be granted. Hospital officials say that the father was later told that his request could not be granted. However, no black nurses tended to the baby for a month after the original request was made. The nurse filed discrimination charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, seeking punitive damages for racial discrimination.

Although the hospital claims to have reassigned the nurse out of concern for her safety, it was an illegal discriminatory act. Workplace attorneys help victims of racial, sexual, religious and national origin discrimination. They may be able to seek compensation allowed under federal laws for their clients.

Source: NBC News, "Hospital granted dad's request: no black nurses, lawsuit says", JoNel Aleccia, May 19, 2013

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