On Tuesday, 52 nurses and medical staff filed a complaint against a hospital in California’s central valley, accusing the hospital of discrimination based on national origin. The Filipino employees accuse Delano Regional Medical Center of disproportionately enforcing an English-only rule against them by banning them from speaking Tagalog and other Filipino languages while allowing other ethnic groups to speak languages such as Spanish and Hindi.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a complaint in federal court against the hospital for what they say were discriminatory employment practices. According to the Associated Press, the EEOC says that they have been receiving an increasing amount of complaints of discrimination based on national origin, many of them from California’s central valley.
The EEOC accuses the hospital of creating a hostile work environment for the Filipino employees. The workers say that they were called to a meeting in 2006 where they were told not to speak Tagalog and told that surveillance cameras were watching them. They said that they were approached in hallways and warned to speak only English, even when they were speaking English.
According to the Associated Press, the workers have also filed a separate complaint under state law because federal law caps the amount of damages the workers could be awarded. The employees are asking the courts to require the hospital to change their English-only policy.
Filipinos sue CA hospital over English-only rule (Associated Press)