California nurse claims she lost job due to racial discrimination

A Latina former nurse at Pasadena, Calif.-based Huntington Hospital filed a lawsuit against the facility Dec. 7, alleging managers demonstrated racial discrimination and fired her on false claims of unprofessional conduct, reports the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

Martha Beltran, RN, started working at Huntington Hospital as a housekeeper in 1984. She went on to pursue an education in nursing and worked as a registered nurse at the hospital between 2001-03 before becoming a charge nurse and nursing instructor.

The lawsuit claims Latino and black nurses were harassed, given poor performance evaluations, removed from advisory boards and denied promotions when two new supervisors took over Ms. Beltran's department in 2017.

Ms. Beltran had several meetings with human resources in late 2017 regarding anonymous employee complaints filed against her. Ms. Beltran told HR she was being discriminated against due to her race and that "a white nurse who was the subject of a similar complaint was given a fair chance to defend herself," according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

In a second meeting regarding co-worker complaints against Ms. Beltran, she asked to revert to a previous nursing position, but officials told her the hospital does not allow demotions, according to the lawsuit.

Huntington leaders fired Ms. Beltran in January 2018 for allegedly violating the hospital's professional conduct codes. Thirteen co-workers signed a letter to Huntington Hospital management opposing the action. They claimed the allegations against Ms. Beltran were racially motivated by a small group of white nurses who were "targeting women of color," according to the lawsuit. 

Ms. Beltran filed an internal grievance with the hospital, alleging she was a victim of racial discrimination. However, the hospital sent her a letter in February upholding her termination. 

In a statement to Becker's Hospital Review, a spokesperson for Huntington Hospital said, "We do not comment on employee matters or pending litigation."

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