Labor & Employment

Hospital OKs Language-Discrimination Settlement of $975K; That May Be a Health Industry Record

Without admitting wrongdoing, a California hospital has agreed to pay a settlement of $975,000, among other conditions, to resolve a federal employment discrimination lawsuit contending that Filipino-American staff members were harassed for speaking their own language while other workers who spoke languages other than English were not.

Delano Regional Medical Center in Kern County defended its English-only policy as necessary for patient care. However, it has agreed to pay what may be the largest language-discrimination settlement ever made in the health care industry, according to the Los Angeles Times (reg. req.).

A press release issued Monday by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provides additional details about the settlement, which also includes a three-year consent decree, policy changes and provisions for monitoring, training and harassment-reporting protocols.

The EEOC filed suit jointly in 2010 with the Asian Pacific American Legal Center on behalf of about 70 hospital workers.

The Associated Press also has a story.

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