Nurse Wilma Lamug is overcome with emotion as she recounts the discrimination she and other Filipino nurses experienced while working at the Delano Regional Medical Center in Delano, Calif. (Luis Sinco, Los Angeles Times)

I received the news on the victory of Filipino nurses on a language discrimination settlement this month, but due to other reasons I’m posting it now.  In a recent article from the LA Times reported that a group of Filipino nurses who claimed they were mocked for their accents and ordered to speak “English only” won a nearly $1-million settlement against a Central California hospital where bosses and co-workers were allegedly urged to eavesdrop on the immigrant workers.  This was reported to be the largest language discrimination settlement in the U.S. healthcare industry, according to the Asian Pacific American Legal Center.

The case, filed in 2010, involved 69 immigrants who said they suffered “constant harassment and humiliation when they opened their mouths, or talked with family members on the phone,” said Anna Park, a Los Angeles-based attorney for the commission. She said nurses were banned from speaking Tagalog and other dialects in break rooms, hallways and the cafeteria. Under the terms of the settlement, Delano Regional Medical Center must conduct anti-discrimination training and hire a monitor to track workplace conduct.

Hearing about this news makes me both happy for this group of Filipinos and angry that crap like this is still happening in 2012.  This news sort of hits close to home for me.  It’s very hard reading stories like this where there is bullying at work, especially when you have relatives who have experienced the same thing.  Filipinos may have accents and speak Tagalog, but don’t mess with us because we will lawyer up!

(Salamat Corinne & Kate)


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