Black Nurse Fired After Complaining about Filipino Nurses, She Says
2-15-2013 15:25:00

LOS ANGELES (CN) - An African American Kaiser Permanente nurse says she was fired after complaining about the continual harassment by Filipino nurses - and patient abuse and substandard care.

Lena Williams says she was the "only black American assigned" to the Step Down nursing assignment at Kaiser's Baldwin Park facility. According to her LA County complaint, she was first hired by Kaiser in 1999, resigned in 2006 when she was diagnosed with cancer, and was rehired in 2007.

Williams says she complained to Kaiser's human resources department about the hostile work environment in 2010.

"I was being told constantly that I was going to be fired and other Filipino nurses were going to be hired to replace me. I was set up and told I was endangering the safety and well-being of patients. The statements were false. False statements were being made about me and my competence so that I could be fired. On Aug. 4, 2010 I was suspended purportedly for an investigation. I returned to work only to be harassed. I also complained about the way a patient had been treated which was substandard. Again on Aug. 12, 2011, after my complaints, I was put on suspension so that human resources could engage in another so-called 'investigation.' I have been on 'suspension' ever since with no end in sight. Because I am a black American and not a part of the majority, Filipinos, I am singled out for punitive actions and threatened with being fired. A Filipino has now replaced me while I am on this never-ending suspension. I have been replaced by a less qualified person with less experience. I am 53 years old. I have been discriminated and retaliated against and subjected to harassment," Williams says in her complaint.

Williams seeks damages for defamation, race, age and disability discrimination, harassment and retaliation and emotional distress. She is represented by Gloria Dredd Haney of Orange, Calif.