Employment Law

Personal Injury

Ex-Kansas City VA hospital worker sues for racial discrimination

by | Jul 7, 2021 | Race Discrimination |

A woman who used to work at the Kansas City VA hospital is suing the Veterans Administration for employment discrimination. The woman, who is Black, says she was harassed and ultimately fired because of her race and gender.

Harassed by a security guard

According to the Kansas City Star’s report on the lawsuit, the woman worked at the hospital as a medical support assistant in the radiology department. In January 2020, she arrived to work, but the door to the MRI room was locked. The woman walked to a door to the emergency department to ask to get the door open. She had recently had foot surgery, so the walk was difficult and painful.

While discussing the situation, a security officer allegedly “became aggressive” toward her and followed her back to her desk, where he “invaded her personal space” and shouted at her about the time it took to get the MRI door unlocked.

Only employee called AWOL in a snowstorm

That same month, there was a day of heavy snow in Kansas City. The plaintiff says she filed a slip with her supervisor asking to leave work early to beat the worst of the snow. She never got a response despite texting her supervisor several times. Eventually, she left, as everyone else in the department already had.

She was later accused of being AWOL from work, the only radiology department employee to be so accused. Her lawyer said accusing Black employees of leaving work without permission, and firing them for that reason, is part of a pattern with the VA. In this case, the VA fired the woman shortly after the alleged AWOL incident.

This is just the most recent claim of racial discrimination against employees of the Kansas City VA. Two former employees sued the hospital last year with claims of racist abuse and discrimination.

Workplace discrimination based on race is against the law

Whether you work for a private business or a government entity, you may be the target of discrimination based on your race. This is unacceptable and illegal under Missouri and federal law.