Nurse sues Spectrum Health, claiming system accommodated patient request for no black caregivers

A black nurse claims officials at Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Spectrum Health discriminated against her by granting a patient's request for no black caregivers, according to mLive.

Michelle Acklen began working at Spectrum Health Rehab and Nursing Center in Grand Rapids through a staffing agency in October 2016. About six months after she began working for Spectrum, officials granted a patient's request for no black caregivers. When Ms. Acklen was assigned to the patient's floor, she would have to switch patients with a white nurse, according to her lawsuit.

"[Ms. Acklen] felt harassed, humiliated and discriminated against as a result of the segregation of her job duties and being unable to perform her job responsibilities because of her race," the lawsuit states, according to mLive.

Spectrum would not comment on the specifics of the case to mLive, but the system released the following statement:

"Our policy is very specific and clear that we do not accommodate requests by patients to receive care from a team member based solely on characteristics such as race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, pregnancy status, marital status, height, weight or color. We do not tolerate discrimination or engage in discriminatory behaviors."

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