CA Filipino-American Hospital Workers Sue For Employer Discrimination and Harassment

Over fifty Filipino-American hospital employees filed a separate lawsuit against the Delano Regional Medical Center (DRMC) for job discrimination and harassment in early December. They also sought to join a pending Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawsuit against the Medical Center filed last August. DRMC is in the city of Delano, north of Los Angeles and in the Central Valley. The Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC), is representing the employees. Julie Su of APALC explained that federal regulations limit the EEOC's monetary awards and fines to DRMC. The new lawsuit allows the employees to seek greater claims. 

The complaint states that DRMC both discriminated against its Filipino-American employees and severely and pervasively harassed them in the workplace. DRMC prohibited Filipino-American employees from using their own languages and enforced an English-only policy solely on them, while allowing other employees to use languages such as Spanish and Hindi. They also singled out Filipino-American employees for mandatory meetings and threatened to install monitoring cameras and to suspend them for speaking Filipino lanaguages. The DRMC management recruited other employees to monitor and harass their Filipino-American co-workers

Anna Park, regional attorney of the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office, explained that employers may require the use of only the English language when it is a business necessity.