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Former Employee Sues Hospital Over Alleged Racial Discrimination

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A former employee filed a complaint on Thursday in the Southern District of New York against her former employers, NYC Health + Hospitals and Medical Staffing Services, Inc., alleging that the defendants had discriminated and engaged in retaliatory behavior against the plaintiff based on her race.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff is an African American woman who was hired by the defendants to work as a mortuary technician in April 2020. The complaint states that each defendant, the hospital and Medical Staffing, had the ability to “direct, discipline, and provide work assignments to (the plaintiff)” meaning she was jointly employed by the defendants. The plaintiff asserts that her direct supervisor began to treat her in a discriminatory manner due to her race despite her job performance being satisfactory.

In the complaint, the plaintiff recalls a specific instance in which her direct supervisor called her a racial slur and insulted the speed at which she was doing her work. Accordingly, the plaintiff consequently “raised protected concerns to (her direct supervisor) that the use of this racial slur was extremely discriminatory.” The concerns allegedly did not cause her direct supervisor to change her behavior, as the slurs were purportedly repeated to the plaintiff and other African American/Black employees frequently. They were also faced with harsh reprimands from the plaintiff’s direct supervisor for the slightest of alleged infractions, while the non-Black employees were not, according to the complaint.

When the conduct continued, the plaintiff eventually raised her concerns about her direct supervisor to her other supervisor, who initially ignored the concerns but later told her to submit a statement so they could discuss the misconduct. According to the complaint, upon going into her other supervisor’s office to discuss the statement the plaintiff submitted, the other supervisor instead told her, without a reason, that her employment with the defendants was terminated. Consequently, the plaintiff was involuntarily terminated by the defendants in May of 2020.

The complaint includes counts of race/color discrimination and retaliation for engaging in protected activity in violation of Title VII, 42 U.S.C., and the New York State Human Rights Law. The plaintiff seeks a trial by jury, favorable judgement on all counts, lost compensation and benefits, monetary, compensatory, and punitive damages, and any other relief deemed equitable by the court.

The plaintiff is represented by The Law Offices of Wyatt & Associates PLLC.

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