Black hospital employees told to 'get over' racist remarks, lawsuit claims

A former patient technician is suing St. Luke's Health System, accusing the Kansas City, Mo.-based system of racial discrimination and retaliation, reports the Kansas City Star.

Trevor Baston filed the suit in a county court in November. The suit was moved to federal court last week.

Mr. Baston claims a white employee at St. Luke's Hospital repeatedly called him "boy" and referred to a black colleague as "Aunt Jemima," among other alleged instances of racial harassment. St. Luke's conducted an unconscious bias training in July 2019, during which a superior allegedly told staff members to "just get over it and let the past be the past," according to the lawsuit.

Mr. Baston went on medical leave for "stress and anxiety" after the training and learned the health system planned to hire someone else for his position. He contends that St. Luke's was retaliating against him for filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The lawsuit is requesting a jury trial and seeks damages for emotional and economic distress.

"As an organization, we cannot comment on pending litigation," a spokesperson for St. Luke's told Becker's via email. "However, we can affirm our deep and abiding commitment to a culture of diversity, inclusion and respect for all. It is fundamental to who we are as an organization, and we work diligently to protect it on behalf of our patients, employees and the diverse communities we serve."

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