Doyle Dennis LLP recently filed suit on behalf of a Registered Nurse against Scott & White Hospital – Marble Falls D/B/A Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Marble Falls D/B/A Baylor Scott & White Health (“Baylor”) in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas in Austin, Texas.
The lawsuit alleges that Doyle Dennis LLP’s client was discriminated and retaliated against for reporting race discrimination. On multiple occasions, one of Baylor’s gastrointestinal technicians described another employee as a “N****r lover.” The gastrointestinal technician knew that the employee was a white woman, who was dating a Black man. Indeed, on one occasion, the gastrointestinal technician showed Doyle Dennis LLP’s client a photo of the employee’s boyfriend and pointed out that he had dreadlocks. In conversations between the gastrointestinal technician and Doyle Dennis LLP’s client, the gastrointestinal technician referred to the employee as a “N****r lover.” In addition, Doyle Dennis LLP’s client observed the gastrointestinal technician harass the employee. Observing Bauer’s blatant and hostile racism, Doyle Dennis LLP’s client reported the racism to Baylor’s Human Resources department. Indeed, Doyle Dennis LLP’s client, who was acting as an ally, friend, and coworker to the victim of the racism felt compelled to report the race discrimination she observed. In response to Doyle Dennis LLP’s client’s reports, Baylor failed to take any action. Despite numerous reports, no actions were taken to remedy the gastrointestinal technician’s racism.
Ultimately, Doyle Dennis LLP’s client turned to Baylor’s Human Resources/corporate compliance hotline and reported the race discrimination to the hotline. Doyle Dennis LLP’s client also reported the race discrimination to other senior employees at Baylor. Shortly after Doyle Dennis LLP’s client reported the racist remarks to one of Baylor’s senior employees, Baylor terminated Doyle Dennis LLP’s client. The lawsuit alleges that the timeline confirms that Baylor responded to Doyle Dennis LLP’s client’s complaints of racism in the workplace by firing her for a clearly fabricated reason. Indeed, Baylor’s fabricated and false reason for terminating Doyle Dennis LLP’s client is that she was exhibiting unprofessional behavior and poor communication. In reality, Doyle Dennis LLP’s client was terminated for repeatedly reporting the gastrointestinal technician’s racism toward her coworker.
42 U.S.C. § 1981 prohibits race discrimination. Moreover, 42 U.S.C. § 1981 also bars employers from retaliating against an employee for reporting race discrimination. In all, Doyle Dennis LLP’s lawsuit alleges that Baylor treated its client adversely after she opposed and reported unlawful race discrimination. Baylor engaged in material adverse actions against Doyle Dennis LLP’s client, which might well dissuade a reasonable person from opposing or reporting the discrimination had they known they would face the adverse actions. Baylor’s termination of Doyle Dennis LLP’s client clearly materially altered her employment, and Baylor violated Section 1981 by intentionally retaliating against Doyle Dennis LLP’s client because of her reports.
If you are a health care worker who experienced or observed race discrimination and were subsequently retaliated against, contact Doyle Dennis LLP for a free evaluation of your case.