A nurse from Dearborn, Michigan is suing her employer, Beaumont Hospital, for allegedly following through with a patient’s racist request to remove her from their care because she is Black.
Teoka Williams believes her civil rights were violated, feeling, “humiliated, embarrassed, and disappointed,” after the October 2017 incident where she overheard one of her patients saying she didn’t want a “Black bitch” taking care of her, according to Black News.
Williams proceeded to tell the clinical manager what she’d heard, expecting they wouldn’t accommodate requests based on race. However, Williams was eventually forbidden to enter the room while still being expected to give reports when her shift was over. She also claims she wasn’t allowed to treat patients sharing the room with the racist.
When Williams approached human resources about the issue, she claims she was told patient requests are honored all the time, and that she’d likely be removed from the assignment altogether if there were another complaint.
The medical professional filed her lawsuit Monday and is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.
“[The lawsuit] is about being denied the opportunity to do your job duties based on your race, and being segregated from your job duties based on your race, said her attorney, Julie Gafkay in a statement.
Beaumont Hospital has not addressed the incident specifically, but has released this statement:
“Our highest priority is providing a safe environment that is free from discrimination for both our patients and staff, and delivering care with compassion, dignity and respect.”
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.