Asian Nurse Cries Discrimination, Violation of California Labor Law


Fresno, CA When Faye was wrongfully terminated from her job as a dialysis nurse, she knew it was due to discrimination. And she knows discrimination is a violation of the California Labor Law. Now she intends to stand up for her rights: Faye has filed a complaint with a California labor law attorney.

Faye says she was fired because she called in sick on two occasions - only twice since 2004. But it could have been for any reason. And Faye says that she and another Asian woman were the only people working at the clinic who were not Hispanic, and they were treated a lot differently than their Mexican co-workers, to their detriment. (Racial discrimination is also a federal offense: it is basically defined as occurring when a person is treated unfairly based on characteristics of his race or birthplace.)

"I called in sick right after Christmas because I couldn't even get out of bed, I was that exhausted," says Faye. "I left several messages with my immediate boss Gwen, telling her that I was too sick to come in and asked if they were OK. I got a call back; she said they were covered but I could come in to work that afternoon. I declined, feeling too sick.

"As it turns out, Gwen told her boss that I was OK and didn't know that I was scheduled to work. Gwen texted me twice that night and phoned around 11pm, telling me to phone the boss. I told her that I would be able to work the next day.

"Apparently Gwen also told her boss that I took the day off to go for job interviews but that wasn't the case, I really was sick. She kept arguing with me over the phone, saying I told Gwen otherwise. She told me not to come to work and would set up an appointment with the three of us to get to the bottom of this issue.

'On second thought I am suspending you as of today so don't show up to work tomorrow,' she said, right out of the blue. 'Instead I want you in my office.' I met her at 11am the next day in her office but Gwen wasn't there.

"Apparently Gwen is not confrontational. We talked for about 30 minutes about me calling in sick and in the end they said I would get a call next week regarding my schedule.

"The next week I went back to her office and I was terminated, because I didn't show up for work. I was given my last paycheck and walked out of the building. I was so upset, and I still am.

"People call in sick all the time, but when I called in sick, I was harassed. And this happened once before. I believe I was discriminated against because I am Asian. The majority of people at this company are Mexican, and we all get along very well, but a lot of things they do were not right.

"For instance, one Hispanic group often took long lunch breaks without going off the clock. Then they would bring their lunch into the office and eat it. I could never do that and not get reprimanded. They often call in sick and there is never any recrimination, only with me. Another Asian girl works here; she opens the clinic at 3am along with a Hispanic girl who is always late. But instead of the late girl getting disciplined, the Asian girl got into trouble. She called me at home, crying. She got into trouble because she called the boss about her co-worker being late.

"It is so important that we are on time. Two nurses are needed to open and get the machines going, so if someone is late, it means that the patient is going to suffer. This job has no room for error or being late."

Faye says that her boss never even listened to her side of the story. Instead, the decision to terminate Faye was based on heresay, what Gwen said. "I didn't even get a chance to defend myself," she says, frustrated. Perhaps she will get a chance, with her labor law attorney.

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