Hospital Sued After Complying with Racist Request

Nurse Tonya Battle is suing the hospital she works at after it agreed to comply with a new father’s racist request.  Hurley Medical Centre, located in Michigan, allegedly reassigned Battle after a newborn’s father requested that no African-American nurses be involved in his baby’s care.  Battle says the new father approached her while she was working with his child in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit and asked to speak to her supervisor.

Battle directed the man was directed to her supervisory nurse.  He showed the supervisor a swastika-esque tattoo and asked that no African-American nurses care for his child.  Hospital management decided to grant the request and reassigned Battle, who has worked at the facility for 25 years.  According to her attorney, Battle was “shocked and in disbelief” when she received the phone call from her employer informing her of her reassignment and the reasons behind it.

The suit Battle has filed alleges discrimination based on skin colour.  According to the lawsuit, this note was given a prominent position on the baby’s medical chart: “Please, no African-American nurses to care for … baby per dad’s request.”

This openly discriminatory notation did not last long, however.  The hospital’s lawyer objected to the approval of the father’s request and the note was removed.  The father was then told that the hospital was no longer able to comply with his demands.  However, Battle’s lawsuit alleges that even so, no African-American nurses were assigned to care for the child.

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