A nurse is suing a Michigan hospital for allegedly honoring a patient's request to not be cared for by a black woman. https://t.co/IIWeoEQUZ8
— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) August 21, 2018
DEARBORN, MICHIGAN — You hear about situations like this all the time. Racist, white patients come into medical facilities and demand not to be seen by any Black professionals. Generally, hospital staff members state they don’t allow such outlandish requests. But this facility? They’re all for it.
According to NBC Chicago, a nurse at Beaumont Hospital is suing the medical establishment for allegedly honoring the patient’s aforementioned request.
Specifically, the source notes Teoka Williams as the nurse. Reportedly, she filed a federal lawsuit on Monday against the hospital in Dearborn.
The lawsuit alleges that the health system violated federal and state civil rights laws when they granted the patient’s request — keeping her from caring for the patient due to her race.
According to the source, Williams has worked as a registered nurse at Beaumont Hospital for a decade.
Well, in October 2017, she overheard a particular patient request not to have a Black woman as a caregiver. Allegedly, Williams said she reported the comment to her manager. However, instead of handling the situation like management should have according to policy and law, the manager allegedly restricted Williams from caring for the patient.
In the lawsuit, the nurse mentions that she complained to the hospital’s human resources department about the issue as well.
Guess what happened…
According to Williams, HR told her that “patient requests are honored all the time.” Moreover, HR allegedly stated she’d be taken off assignment altogether the next time such a request happens.
When sources attempted to contact Beaumont Hospital about the allegations, reportedly administration declined to comment on the issue — noting it as a pending litigation.
However, in complete contrast, the Michigan health system issued a statement saying its “highest priority is providing a safe environment that is free from discrimination for both our patients and staff, and delivering care with compassion, dignity and respect.”
So, she’s gotten an attorney to handle the case. Julie Gafkay, Williams’ lawyer, says health care institutions shouldn’t accommodate patients’ requests at the expense of employees’ civil rights.
Moreover, Gafkay states the lawsuit “is about being denied the opportunity to do your job duties based on your race, and being segregated from your job duties based on your race.” In essences, Williams’ attorney says the hospital simply “accommodated racism” and “allowed a patient to discriminate against a very good and valuable employee.”
And if this situation happened as Williams mentions in her lawsuit, it was certainly a horrible tragedy in the workplace.
The source details Williams’ lawsuit as one which seeks compensatory and punitive damages, as well as court costs and attorney fees.
NOTE: This is what should’ve happened.
“Sorry, ma’am. All 80 nurses on duty right now are black. You either have a black nurse or you get no service” pic.twitter.com/5h5CL988IL
— Essdsee (@essdsee25) August 20, 2018
All in all, let us know your thoughts about this situation. In your personal or professional life, specifically in hospital settings, have you ever witnessed someone make such a request? If you have any comments, feel free to share them via our Facebook page.
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[Featured Photo via Twitter]