CA Filipina Nurses File Class Action Suit

By Jason Beahm on August 24, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Nurses in San Francisco are alleging discrimination for refusing to hire Filipinos. A class action suit has been filed against Sutter Health and the company's California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. Three former managers at California Pacific Medical Center made allegations in signed statements that between 2007 and 2009 they were told by supervisors not to hire Filipina nurses.

The union also contends that the number of Filipina nurses dropped from 65% to 10%, The Los Angeles Times reports. Union officials and Filipino activists have urged the San Francisco Human Rights Commission to investigate. Over 35 members of the Filipino community have signed a letter urging the hospital to investigate.

Sutter officials have dismissed the class action suit brought by the Filipina nurses as a tactic used to gain leverage. The union has been involved in a lengthy contract dispute with Sutter that has spanned over three years. Dr. Warren Browner, chief executive of California Pacific Medical Center, called the lawsuit "dishonest and without merit," contending that "We pride ourselves on diverse hiring policies."

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is illegal for an employer to refuse to hire, discipline, fire, deny training, fail to promote, pay less or demote, or harass someone on the basis of their race, national origin, gender or religion. In addition, an employer may not adopt a policy or practice that has a "disparate impact," on a protected class. For example, a company may not institute a test for promotion that a particular class tends to perform poorly on, unless the test is over is a "bona fide occupational qualification."

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