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Nurses Allege Employment Discrimination at SF Hospitals

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, August 23, 2010

Browner said the hospital's data tells a different story. "In 2007, 63% of our nurses at St. Luke's were Asian. Today that number is 66%," he said. "We do not have any way of identifying what percentage of our nurses are Filipino because we don't break down these categories by ethnicity or country of origin. In fact, the only data we have on ethnicity are self-reported by our employees using categories approved by the Federal government such as Asian, Hispanic or Latino, Black or African American or White (non-Hispanic)."

More than two dozen Filipino and other community leaders joined with CNA and sent a letter to CPMC this week demanding a meeting with Browner and Diana Karner, the Sutter West Bay vice president of nursing, and that CPMC publicly renounce its discriminatory practices.

At the press conference, CNA offered testimony by former nursing supervisors at CPMC and nurses who have faced the discriminatory practices. Chris Hanks, a former director of Critical Care Services at CPMC, said Karner told him on a number of occasions, "you are not to hire any Filipinos."

Former nurse supervisor Ronald Villanueva said that he heard Karner tell another supervisor, "do not hire foreign graduate nurses"—an unambiguous reference to Filipinos.

Sutter brought forward several Filipino nurses who called the CNA complaints groundless. Emilia Maninang RN, Clinical Nurse Manager in the Skilled Nursing Facility/Sub-Acute care unit at St. Luke's, said she has worked at the hospital nearly 20 years and was never told not to hire Filipinos. "I'm Filipino and if I had heard anyone say that I would've been appalled. I think the claims are part of CNA's agenda to try and make CPMC look bad," she said.

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