A Michigan woman has filed a lawsuit against the hospital she works for after an incident in October which she says was entirely based on discrimination.
Tonya Battle says she was working in the neonatal intensive care unit last year when she was pulled from her duties as caretaker of an infant at Hurley Medical Center after the baby’s father asked to speak to a supervisor. The man allegedly showed the supervisor a swastika tattoo and asked that a white nurse be assigned to his child, and the hospital complied. Battle says the next day there was a note on the child’s file which read, “No African-American nurse to take care of baby.”
“I felt like I froze,” Battle said. “I just was really dumbfounded. I couldn’t believe that’s why he was so angry (and) that’s why he was requesting my charge nurse. I think my mouth hit the floor. It was really disbelief.”
Though Battle says the note was eventually removed from the file once the hospital’s legal team got involved, there were no black nurses allowed to care for the baby for a period of about a month beforehand. She is seeking damages for emotional stress, mental anguish, humiliation and damage to her reputation and says she was shocked at the blatant act of discrimination.