Racial Abuse

Nine Black nurses and aides have filed a lawsuit against an Alabama nursing home for placing them in a “racially discriminatory hostile environment,” Atlanta Black Star reports. The women claim they suffered verbal abuse, and dealt with racial taunts at Florala Health and Rehabilitation, including being called slurs like the N-word and “slave girls.”

Meanwhile, the Black women said in the suit that Black residents in the home were left unattended “without proper clothing and medication” by white caregivers. Shekeya Thomas reported that her white coworkers left a Black patient naked on the floor for hours. When she filed a formal complaint, no corrective measures were instituted. No investigation was even started. Instead, Thomas’ work schedule changed, which impacted her ability to take her children to school.

The hellish, bigoted conditions at an Alabama assisted living facility encompasses racial slurs by coworkers, racially tinged taunts and verbal abuse, and unequal enforcement of disciplinary rules” at Florala Health and Rehabilitation. The lawsuit says the assisted living facility is a “racially hostile” and “retaliatory hostile” work environment, in violation of federal anti-discrimination laws.

“Racist attitudes and stereotypes are normalized,” the lawsuit says. “Some white managers and employees have expressed their view that it is the normal order of things that blacks perform the “dirty work”. The black nursing professionals have been overtly referred to by white staffers as ‘slaves.’”

The employees named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Shekeya Thomas, Angelia Williams, Kierra Blue, Keonna Crittenden, Cassandra Westry, Chantel Mayes, Melissa Hobdy, Courtney Love and Michele Carswel.

The lawsuit alleges that one white charge nurse “makes it a point to avoid referring to black nursing staff by name,” instead calling them the N-word. Another white supervisor “chooses the more genteel approach of referring to adult black female nursing professionals as ‘the little black girls,’” according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also alleges that staffers at Florala Rehabilitation frequently make “ridiculing comments about their African-American coworkers, including ugly remarks about their skin, hair texture, and supposed ‘smell.” The complaint says one white employee grabbed a Black employee’s hair and called her “horsehead.”