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Michigan hospital agrees to settle racial discrimination lawsuit

Workplace discrimination is a serious matter that can lower employee morale. Under federal employment law, employers are required to hire applicants without regard to their gender, faith, political belief, disability or age. Employees should be treated fairly with the same prohibitions in mind. Some employers apparently have a hard time making sure all of their employees follow the rules.

For example, Hurley Medical Center, located north of Detroit, recently settled a reverse discrimination lawsuit filed by a white employee against his black supervisor. Filed last year, the lawsuit contended that supervisor the made derogatory remarks about the employee's race dating as far back as 2007. The employee, who works as an environmental technician, claimed the supervisor referred to him as a "stupid white boy."

The only comment Hurley has made about the settlement is that both parties are moving forward.

In a summary disposition hearing late last year, Hurley's attorney argued that the worker had not reported the issue before December 2012 and described the employee's allegations as complaints from a disgruntled employee. However, other evidence allegedly proved the hospital was aware of the discrimination.

A panel previously offered an $80,000 award to the employee, but he declined the offer. If the court had sided with the hospital, the employee might have had to pay the hospital's legal fees. Hurley has agreed to pay $200,000.

Under employment law, it is unlawful to tolerate racial discrimination in the workplace. Employment-related disputes can arise when employees are mistreated by coworkers or superiors and can discomfort an employee enough to affect productivity.

Michigan employees who are facing challenges at work because of unfair treatment or the inability to exercise their employment rights should speak with a legal professional. A legal professional can advocate the worker's rights and provide the right course of action.

Source: MLive, "Hurley will pay $200,000 to settle reverse-discrimination lawsuit filed by white employee," Gary Ridley, March 18, 2014

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