The Mercury News, December 9, 2010

A California hospital has defended its English-only policy as essential to patient care in response to a lawsuit by Filipino workers claiming they were the sole ethnic group targeted by the rule.

Delano Regional Medical Center said in a statement Wednesday that plaintiffs' allegations are baseless and their financial demands could threaten to jeopardize quality medical care in the rural farming community about 30 miles north of Bakersfield.

A group of 52 current and former Filipino hospital workers sued on Tuesday alleging they were singled out by the English-only rule while other staffers were allowed to speak Spanish and Hindi.

The group is seeking to join a federal lawsuit filed in August by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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