Dearborn Nurse Sues Hospital After They Honored a Patient’s Request for No Black Nurses

A Beaumont Health employee in Michigan claimed she was barred from doing her job after the hospital told her to no longer take care of a racist patient who refused to have a Black nurse.

Teoka Williams filed a lawsuit on Monday against her job and said she was racially discriminated against. The documents stated that the nurse was working on a unit when she overheard one of her patients tell someone that she did not want a ” Black B****” taking care of her.”

Teoka Williams

(photo credit: ABC 7 screenshot)

The medical employee reported the incident to her Clinical Manager in October 2017 and she was no longer allowed to enter the patient’s room according to legal documents. However, there were two different patients in one room and the nurse was still required to report on the patients although she was prohibited from entering the room, WXYZ reported. Nevertheless, a white nurse named Olivia was able to go into the room.

Williams reported the situation to Human Resources, but was told that “patient requests are honored all the time and the next time it happens she would simply be taken off the assignment altogether.”

The lawsuit states that Beaumont Health violated two federal Civil Rights acts. The nurse is asking for her attorney and court fees to be paid and compensatory and punitive damages.

Williams’ attorney Julie Gafkay told Detroit News, “A patient requested only white care, no care from any African-American caregivers, and a supervisor granted that and excluded this registered nurse from the patient room altogether.”

She continued, “[The lawsuit] is about being denied the opportunity to do your job duties based on your race, and being segregated from your job duties based on your race… It’s about how the health system accommodated racism and allowed a patient to discriminate against a very good and valuable employee.”

Beaumont Health on the other hand released the following statement on Wednesday, “While we cannot comment on the specifics of this case because it is pending litigation, we can say that Beaumont’s highest priority is providing a safe environment that is free from discrimination for both our patients and staff, and delivering care with compassion, dignity and respect.”


Back to top