Former UCLA employee sues school for racial discrimination

A former employee of the University of California Los Angeles has sued the school, her former supervisor and multiple other people claiming that she was discriminated against. Specifically, the woman says that the decision to lay her off was based on her race.

The African American woman had worked for the university for 30 years. She had an excellent reputation at the school. In fact, she had won the UCLA Staff Achievement Award three times in recent years. The woman claims that she hoped to work for the school until she retired.

However, in 2011 a new supervisor for UCLA’s School of Public Health — where the woman worked — was hired. According to the woman, the new supervisor made remarks about the three minority workers within the department. These remarks included how he wanted a clean slate. The woman also says that the minorities within the department were singled out for disparate treatment by this supervisor.

Eventually, all three of the minority employees — including the woman — were terminated from the department. The woman sued claiming racial discrimination, retaliation, racial harassment and other employment law violations. The woman is seeking damages after struggling to find another job.

Workplace discrimination, like the racial discrimination described by this woman, is not acceptable in California workplaces. Employee laws protect employees from discrimination based on their race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion and more. This means that these factors cannot be used to determine if an employee is hired, fired, disciplined or more. When employers allow workplace discrimination, they may have to compensate employees for the damage they have suffered as a result of the discrimination.

Source: Los Angles Wave, “UCLA faces another discrimination suit,” Betty Pleasant, Feb. 20, 2014

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