A nurse has filed a $6.5 million lawsuit against St. Petersburg General Hospital and parent company HCA Holdings for allegedly using a positive drug test as the reason for terminating her when she says the move was really in retaliation for filing a discrimination complaint.
The nurse was one of four African-American nurses employed at St. Petersburg General, which is owned by HCA. She was the only African-American charge nurse and filed a race discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2013.
However, when she slipped on a wet floor at that hospital, she had to submit to a urine drug screen. On May 23, 2014, she was told by the hospital that her drug test was positive and she was immediately suspended and then fired later that day.
Once notified of the test result, she obtained proof from her pharmacy that she possessed a prescription for the medication. Regardless, she was terminated.
The woman’s lawsuit, filed in federal court in the Middle District of Florida, comes after the EEOC issued her a “right to sue” letter on Nov. 3, 2016, after she made a new complaint for retaliation for her termination.
Florida state and federal laws protect workers against racial discrimination in the workplace. People of every national origin are legally entitled to work in an environment where they are treated equally. Employers have a duty to uphold policies that prevent racial discrimination in any form.
If you feel you have been the victim of racial discrimination in the workplace, you need to enlist the help of our Florida Discrimination Lawyers at Whittel & Melton. Call us today at 727-823-0000 or contact us online to request a free consultation. We can begin helping you immediately.