Sunday, July 1, 2012
BALTIMORE HOSPITAL SETTLES WITH PINAY NURSES OVER LANGUAGE FLAP
hospital that fired its 4 Filipino nurses and hospital worker for speaking
Tagalog has agreed to pay an undisclosed amount to end the discrimination
complaint filed by them.
“We’re almost one with it. We’ve signed the papers and it’s just a matter of paying us,” revealed Anna Rowena Rosales, one of 3 Filipino nurses (the 4th Filipino was part of the administrative staff) fired by the
for speaking Tagalog during lunch breaks in 2010. Bon Secours Hospital
The federal Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) decided last August that
English-only regulations discriminated against Rosales, Corina Capunitan-Yap,
Hachelle Natano and Jazziel Granada. Bon
They accused the hospital management of singling them out because staff members belonging to other nationalities were not disciplined for speaking their own language.
Two years later, Rosales admitted to the Manila Mail that she still feels sad and slips in and out of depression over the ordeal they went through. “I feel different. Who would have thought that something like this would happen to us,” she said.
“But we have to move on. I have to take care of my family, not only here but also in the
She has since found a new job in a hospital in
The change in environment may have helped speed the healing process and her
recent purchase of new house there couldn’t have helped too. Sacramento, California
Her family in
soon be relocating to their new West Coast home.
Yap, Natano and
have opted to stay behind in Baltimore.
“Of course I’m happy because we won our case. There is fulfillment because the case is finally over. We have to continue working because we need to make a living,”
the Manila Mail.
Their struggle has already shown signs of bearing fruit. “It’s so different in
California where I work
now. One hospital there that I won’t mention the name allows their nurses to
speak their own language, where they are comfortable with,” Rosales disclosed.
In his Aug. 16, 2011 order, EEOC Baltimore field office Director Gerald Kiel said he found reasonable cause that Bon Secours Hospital subjected the Filipinos to unequal terms and conditions of employment, a hostile work environment, disciplinary action and discharge because of their national origins in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
“Other employees spoke Spanish and other languages contrary to the policies and were not disciplined,”
pointed out. “In addition, it appears more serious infractions of work rules
were not comparably punished.”