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California Nurses Assn. files complaint alleging discrimination against Filipinos at Bay Area hospital

The California Nurses Assn. has filed a class-action grievance against Sacramento-based Sutter Health and the company’s California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, alleging that hospital managers refused to hire Filipino nurses.

On Thursday, union officials and Bay Area Filipino activists called on the San Francisco Human Rights Commission to investigate the discrimination claims.

Three former managers at California Pacific Medical Center, which also operates St. Luke’s Hospital, submitted statements to the commission alleging that between 2007 and 2009, supervisors told them not to hire Filipino nurses. The union also submitted records showing the percentage of Filipino nurses at the hospital dropped from 65% to 10% in 2008.

“There can be no excuse for racial or ethnic discrimination,” Zenei Cortez, a registered nurse and union official, said in a statement Thursday.

More than 35 Filipino community groups signed a letter to the hospital calling for officials to investigate the allegations.

“Sutter’s discriminatory practices against Filipino nurses is as much about denying job opportunities as it is about punishing unionized Filipina nurses at St. Luke’s who stood up to Sutter’s plans to cut services to our community,” said Lillian Galedo of Oakland-based Filipino Advocates for Justice.

The union has been locked in a contract dispute with Sutter for three years. Sutter officials dismissed the lawsuit as a negotiating ploy.

“We pride ourselves on our diverse hiring policies and our longstanding commitment to promoting equal opportunity employment,” Dr. Warren Browner, California Pacific Medical Center’s chief executive, said in a statement, calling the allegations “dishonest and without merit.”

Browner said Sutter does not track how many of its nurses are Filipino, but said the percentage of Asian nurses at St. Luke’s has actually risen slightly, from 63% in 2007 to 66% today.

“We stand by our record as an employer that is committed to diversity,” Browner said.

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Comments () | Archives (8)

the pot calling the kettle black.
ask anyone that' s been in a hospital.
what a farce!

"Browner said Sutter does not track how many of its nurses are Filipino, but said the percentage of Asian nurses at St. Luke’s has actually risen slightly, from 63% in 2007 to 66% today."

LOL! Asians.. we're all the same apparently. If they hire enough "Asians" then it's not discriminating against Filipinos?

It's rather sad when an organization with the long history of achievements that CNA has sinks to the level of making cheap accusations, particularly when they are unsupported by the facts. What's worse is that reporters buy into their cleverly crafted news release without checking the facts. CNA didn't file a "class action lawsuit" they only filed a "class action grievance". It's an important difference. A lawsuit would have to be argued in court with facts and figures and hard evidence. A grievance is simply discussed in contract talks between the union making the charges and CPMC, the company it is making the charges against. One would mean an embarrassing defeat for the union. In the other it can simply offer it's traditional "whatever" reaction when they are found to be making spurious claims.

McCormack needs to get his facts straight. Just have the authorities ask Mark Ritter, Enea Zolezzi, Carol Kunita and others who attended the meetings where Karner instructed them not to hire Filipinos, and then you'll see who stoops low.
If Karner has one shred of decency, she would resign and disappear in shame.

Are these American Filipino nurses or did they come from the Philippines? There are many new nurses who are Americans who cannot find nursing jobs, they should be first.

There should be NO discrimination from any company when hiring nurses!!! But there is! I'm not Filipino...yet after one year I'm unable to find a nursing job and I'm trained an a multiple areas of nursing...Where is the discrimination????? Do you think seriously that Filipinos are directly being targeted? Think again. I was born in this country and I'm a trained nurse in this country YET I cannot find a job any any area of nursing for which I'm highly qualified at...! Now the hiring sources where I apply are primarily Filipinos and it seems that the nursing staff are also...I wonder if that could be the reason. Now who is being discriminated against? I won't stop here I will fight until the American jobless nurses are all employed in my country!

About the above story. what about the harrasment and gossip and back stabbing from Philipino nurses at my job. Not wanting to come to the job that I love doing, because I have to put up with all of the discimination thrown my way and no support from my union, or management. A Union that I pay 102.00 a month to and can never get any representation from.

I think everyone should get their facts straight. The best person for the job should be the one hired. Not any specific race. Nurse first of all are professionals and should act professional. I was told by a Filipino Nurse that the reason a current hospital I work in, has so many Filipino Nurses working there is that the U.S. is willing to take nurse from other countries is that we do not have enough qualified nurses here in the U.S. That is completely wrong and all people need to wake up why are we putting our Nurses here who many have had the best education in the unemployment line??? Does this make any sense and if it does to who???


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