Hi, thanks for your inquiry! I have been practicing employment law
for 17+ years and have specific experience with issues like yours. With regard to your post:
I am an RN at a hospital. I am white and my black co-worker who is a nurses' aide sai, " the nurses here are a bunch of crazy bitches." I said,"what did you say." she got in my face one cm from my nose and "said I'm not dealing with it." and I said "get out of my face" these went round and round two more times. Then I walked away and she followed me and I said I am calling security but could not remember the number. I saw another nurse and Yelled call security. I was suspend and the other person was suspended for this in December. Now here in March some black workers from other units are hanging out with this person at the front desk not working and being noisy. About 5 people. and I feel nervous because I can't do anything Why can't you do anything. Are they stopping your, or is it your own discomfort due to their race? Or, instead, is it not their race but their treatment of you that is the problem, regardless of race. (Ding Ding.) For instance, do they stand in the way of your movement tog et to the computer to get something you must get to do your job? Is it that kind of direct intimidation, based on their actual actions? (Vs. just the fact that you all don't like each other, but no overt acts.)
and can't concentrate to take care of my patients. The common thing is the blacks can do what the want due to discrimmation. But I feel nervous and threatened. Their behavior is starting to kick up their power of doing what they want. My manager said, "it takes alot to fire someone and then they can write an appeal and awarded their job back forever. I just feel unsafe and feel intimated. What should I do about file a complaint above the manager who won't do anything? You do want to report any racial discrimination against you or others to your boss, officially, and then above, if necessary. I'd do it in writing, with proof, such as mailing it cert., r.r.r. after handing it to them personally. Indicate on the letter how it is being delivered (i.e. hand deliver and USPS certified, r.r.r. # XXXXX The reason for this is that an employer can often not be held to have allowed discriminatory actions if it is not made aware of them - so you want proof for later that the employer was notified. That could be HR, upper management, etc.
Do I have a case? Very possibly... IF. If you are being treated differently and negatively as compared to those of a different race, simply because of the differing race, this would indicate potential racial discrimination against you and YOU can file a charge with the EEOC for that. For example, let's say you would be fired for loitering and not using work time, non-break time, for work related functions. Let's say that is true of other caucasions. And let's say it is not true of the black workers, simply because they are black - then that would seem to be discrimination. Of course, you want to have as much proof as possible. For instance, do you report work that is not being done by the worker that is supposed to do it, but is loitering instead? Do you make a paper trail to show your reporting the behavior (to prove the employer was sufficiently aware)? I'd consider doing so. Even if it is an email to the boss, each and every time, or whatever other method of reporting would be available. If someone does physically prevent you from moving around as needed to do your job, do you report it? I'd likely do so, again, to prove later that you did tell the employer of the issues. I'd likely take care in how I worded it - for instance, be objectively accurate, and not generally or overly broad. I would not say, "the blacks are loitering and preventing me from getting the the computer to input XXX as required." Rather, I'd say Jane Doe (specific name), while standing around the front desk during non-break time, was preventing me from....John Doe, was assigned to room XX on YY date, but never changed Mrs. O'Leary's bed sheets as he was supposed to. I reminded him, but he continued to not to that. As a result, Mrs. O'Leary did not get her bedlinen's changed (or, as a result, I, the RN, had to perform his duties on top of my own in order to ensure Mrs. O'Leary received her bedlinen change...)... If you told you boss and she did nothing, i'd include it in the report. "... Prior to changing the bedlinens, I reported this failuire of John to Boss XX, who refused to enforce John's duties...
Once it is clear that there is a lack of fulfillment of job duties on the parts of certain individuals (and make sure you are not leaving out caucasians if they are similarly failing to do their duties, or else you will appear to be discriminating against the black workers, protecting the caucasion workers), with no repercussions, you can also do some homework to find out if caucasions who fail to do their jobs get disciplined. If they don't it will be tougher to prove discrimination by employer, since it lets BOTH races slack off without repercussions. You want to show that the employer is enforcing rules only against non-blacks because the data shows this, backs it up.
Once some caucasion workers start filing charges of descrimination in the workplace based on a protected class (such as race), the employer may start to do what it should already be doing: Document ALL acts of misconduct, and provide notice to the culprit of the documented misconduct. Follow all steps to any official policy ( or practiced policy) regarding how one is disciplined, if there is a step up policy of discipline prior to termination, etc. It will have to start doing this if it wants to avoid EEOC charges by not only black workers, but by caucasions as well. Right now it seems to be focused on appeasing black workers with poor working habits out of fear of being sued if it enforces common sense working rules against them, but seems to have forgotten that two can play that game - and non-blacks can also sue for racial discrimination.
Consider a consult session with an employement lawyer adept at racial descrimination claims in the work environment. He can look at your details and determine what else you may want to find to help build a case in your favor, prior to filing. But do it fast, sometimes you only have 6 months in which to file your charge with the EEOC.
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