Hostile Work Environment Lawsuit Because Of Race-Based Preferences
The United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit issued a ruling regarding what constitutes a hostile work environment. In Chaney v. Plainfield Healtcare Center, the 7th Circuit ruled a nursing home which had a policy of honoring a patient's racial preferences is not required to do so by law and therefore can be sued for creating a hostile work enivornment for it's workers. It is crazy that in this point in our country's history we still have companies and people who are acting like it's 1700. You would think people have evolved to the point where they don't have to discriminate like this.
The problem started when black nursing assistant Brenda Chaney did not help a patient because the patient did not want any black people helping her. Chaney claimed that the healthcare center rules on racial preferences caused her to become depressed. Chaney sued the healthcare center but the district court dismissed the case after granting summary judgment in favor of the healthcare center. The 7th Circuit reinstated the lawsuit and my guess is the parties will now settle. Aside from creating a hostile work environment, the company probably engaged in racial discrimination from the behavior as well.
"The policy puts Plaintfield at risk of violating duties of medical care that it owes its residents" Judge Ann Claire Williams said.
Before you can file a lawsuit in federal court for a hostile work environment, you must first file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). The EEOC will investigate the complaint and try to mediate the case for the purpose of settling it or you can request a right to sue letter which gives you 90 days to file a lawsuit in federal court.