Black Nurse’s Lawsuit against Mary Free Bed Dismissed

On August 6, 2015, a judge dismissed a black nurse’s discrimination lawsuit against the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. The black nurse filed the lawsuit because she was prohibited from caring for a white patient. The nurse also made the allegation that she was passed over for a promotion due to her race. Foster was the second nurse to sue Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in response to a racial discrimination claim. Foster worked at the hospital for a total 12 years, ranging from 2001 to 2013. In May 2013, she left the position for a nursing job in Phoenix.

discrimination-claimAccording to Foster, on December 3rd, 2010, a nursing supervisor prohibited her from going into a room because they “[didn’t] want any black people in there.” The patient, who had suffered a traumatic head injury, had been hospitalized for about a week. Foster called a supervisor to complain because she had not been allowed to treat the patient, even though she had worked for about four nights while the patient was hospitalized. In response to the demands of the nursing supervisor, Foster did not enter the patient’s room.

According to MLive, Foster reported that the experience led her to feel both devalued and humiliated. Due to her education and hard work, Foster believed she should be permitted to care for any patient the hospital receives, regardless of requests by a patient’s family.

According to the U.S. District Judge Janet Neff, the lawsuit against the hospital was dismissed because she could not prove that she suffered adverse employment action to support her claim of racial discrimination. In an opinion publicized on Thursday, August 6th, Foster suffered no materially adverse change in any aspect of her employment that is significant. Also, according to the hospital’s records, black workers had cared for the patient during his one-week stay at the hospital. The judge also agreed with the hospital when it came to Foster’s claim of adverse employment action. The white woman who was hired over Foster showed more leadership and experience, according to the hospital.