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Filipino Employees Sue Medical Center Over English Language Rule

On Tuesday, a group of 52 hospital workers sued Delano Regional Medical Center over allegations that Filipinos were unfairly targeted by the hospital's enforcement of a rule requiring them to speak only English, the AP/Ventura County Star reports.

The hospital did not respond to a request for comment, according to the AP/ Star.

Plaintiffs' Allegations

The plaintiffs claim that Delano Regional allowed other employees to speak Hindi and Spanish while it prohibited Filipinos from speaking Tagalog and other Filipino languages.

Filipino workers said that in August 2006, hospital officials warned them not to speak Tagalog and told them that surveillance cameras would be installed for monitoring purposes, if necessary.

The plaintiffs seek to force the hospital to change its English-only policy and train hospital staff on a new rule.

EEOC Lawsuit

In addition to the new lawsuit, the Filipino workers are seeking to join an August complaint that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed in Kern County federal court over the medical center's enforcement of the English-only rule.

EEOC is seeking an injunction to protect employees against possible future discrimination.

Julie Su -- litigation director for the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, which represents the plaintiffs -- said the Filipino workers filed their separate lawsuit in addition to joining the EEOC case in part because monetary damages are capped under federal law (Taxin, AP/Ventura County Star, 12/7).

This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
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