Filipino Hospital Employees Settle English-Only Case
A lawsuit against alleging workplace discrimination has settled for nearly $1 million. The lawsuit was originally jointly filed in 2010 by the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center.
According to the lawsuit, Filipino nurses were singled out and banned from speaking Tagalog while working or on break even though other workers were allowed to speak in their native languages. Further, the nurses allege they were called into a meeting and told that they would be put under surveillance if necessary to stop them from speaking their native tongue. Other staff members were encouraged to report the Filipinos if they were heard not speaking English.
The lawsuit claimed that the employees were targets of undue scrutiny, discipline, harassment, and threats. As part of the settlement, the hospital has agreed to develop strong protocols for handling harassment and discrimination complaints. They have also agreed to adopt a language policy that complies with the Civil Rights Act and to conduct anti-discrimination training for all staff.
Federal law, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against any individual with respect to the employee’s compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of the individual’s race or national origin. California law, under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), similarly provides protection from harassment or discrimination in employment because of race or ancestry.
If you have been discriminated against at your place of employment, please contact Khorrami, LLP for a confidential consultation.