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Sterling Employment Law

Michigan nurse: Hospital discriminated against me based on race

A nurse has filed a lawsuit against a Michigan hospital, claiming that she was not allowed to care for a newborn baby because she is black.

As we see it, it is bad enough that racism still exists in this day and age, but it is even worse if businesses continue to illegally allow racism to affect employees. To be frank, race discrimination is not something that has any place in a 21st century workplace.

According to the nurse, who has worked for Hurley Medical Center in Flint since 1988, she was caring for a newly delivered baby when the baby's father allegedly revealed what seemed to be a swastika tattoo on his arm and asked for a supervisor.

Much to the nurse's shock and dismay, that supervisor allegedly ordered a different nurse (presumably a white one) to take care of the baby instead of her.

Furthermore, the nurse claims that hospital staff subsequently held a meeting to outline how the baby was to be cared for in the future and wrote a message to the effect of "No African-American nurse is to take care of this baby" on staff clipboards.

In court documents, the nurse said that she was "shocked, offended and in disbelief that she was so egregiously discriminated against based on her race."

Now, if the father has racial prejudices, that is an unfortunate reality that the nurse sadly has no power to change. That being said, the hospital should not have honored those apparent prejudices to the detriment of the nurse.

In other words, nothing can be done about the father's personal viewpoints, no matter how offensive they are, but the hospital should not have reassigned the nurse just to accommodate him.

In stories like this, it is always important to let the case play out in court and wait for the truth to be determined. Even so, there is plenty here that ought to concern any Michigan resident.

Source: International Business Times, "African-American Nurse Sues Michigan Hospital, Father Requests She Not Care For His Baby," Feb. 15, 2013

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