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California hospital agrees to pay nearly $1M in harassment suit

A California medical center has agreed to pay $975,000 to settle a class-action national origin discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center on behalf of a group of approximately 70 Filipino-American hospital workers.

The lawsuit alleged that the group of hospital workers endured harassment and discrimination that originated from top management at Delano Regional Medical Center of San Joaquin Valley. The Filipino-American hospital workers said they were constantly harassed and belittled on the job by supervisors, other staff members and even some volunteers.

Non-Filipino minority staff members were not required to follow the same policy, the lawsuit alleged. Fed up with the treatment, 115 Filipino-American workers signed a petition reporting the harassment and discrimination to the hospital's top-level management. However, the lawsuit states the hospital management failed to address the problem.

Ultimately, the EEOC and the APALC filed suit against the hospital on behalf of nearly 70 plaintiffs in U.S. District Court. In a settlement announced last week, the hospital agreed to change and revise its policies regarding harassment and discrimination, in addition to providing monetary relief to the workers.

Hopefully, other employers will take note from this settlement that national origin discrimination and harassment will not be tolerated in California.

Source: EEOC Newsroom, "Delano Regional Medical Center to Pay Nearly $1 Million in EEOC National Origin Discrimination Suit," Sept. 17, 2012