White Patients viewed as Primary Patients
Philadelphia – A discrimination lawsuit was filed against Advanced Urgent Care in the U.S District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of an African American medical assistant, Nafisah Williams, who experienced race discrimination in the workplace.
Advanced Urgent Care runs seven urgent care centers in Pennsylvania. Four of the locations are based in Philadelphia. Dr. Mehdi Nikparvar owns the PA medical centers. According to Williams, Dr. Nikparvar assigned a “race-based policy” for patients at the medical center on City Line Avenue in Wynnfield.
Court documents stated the race-based policy required employees to “send all white patients for consultations with a medical personnel before seeing African American patients.” Dr. Nikparvar allegedly monitored the surveillance cameras to ensure the staff was in compliance with the policy. If any employee disregarded the policy, the managers were instructed to punish the employee.
In addition to the racial policy, Williams alleged that Dr. Nikparvar would often use racial remarks and slurs in reference to the staff and patients. During one instance an employee was allegedly addressed as a “useless n-word.” On a separate occasion, a patient was called a “stupid n-word” lacking education.
Eventually, Williams was transferred to a separate Advanced Urgent Care center. In May 2014, a patient contacted Dr. Nikparvar regarding an argument that took place over the schedule. According to Williams, she refused to abide by Dr. Nikparvar’s race-based discrimination policy. Shortly after Williams opposed to the policy, she claims Dr. Nikparvar terminated her employment.
The Effect of Rejection to Race Discrimination at Work
As a result of opposing to engage in race discrimination, Williams experienced termination. Court records explained when Williams inquired about the purpose of her termination, she claims Dr. Nikparvar informed her that she was “loud, ignorant, and disrespectful,” in addition to being labeled as an “n-word just wasting his time.”
Racial references can be hard to endure, especially for African American individuals who have a long history of fighting for their rights to be accepted as an equal. Even though society has come a long way with making African Americans feel equal as a part of the human race as opposed to being secluded from the majority based on their ethnicity, some African American employees such as Williams are still fighting for equality in the workplace. Initially, Williams said she tolerated the hostile work environment because she needed the income, but every employee has a limit, and race-based discrimination caused Williams to object to the employment violation.
Dr. Nikparvar has denied the allegations brought forth by Williams and refrained from commenting on the litigation while it was pending. According to the employment attorney representing Dr. Nikparvar, “Patients requiring emergent care were taken first for medical assistance,” and “All other patients were taken by the time they checked into the facility.” According to Williams, the Advanced Urgent Care center operated differently.
As the case proceeded, various attorneys representing Dr. Nikparvar withdrew from his defense. According to the court, Dr. Nikparvar failed to appear in court on numerous occasions including the “damages hearing.” Last Thursday, Williams received $107, 904 for compensatory damages, punitive damages, and back pay. The judge also required Dr. Nikparvar to cover a portion of the plaintiff’s attorney fees.
Seek a Race Discrimination Attorney
If you have ever endured race discrimination at work in New York City, Miami, New Jersey, or Philadelphia, contact our race discrimination attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC in New York City, Miami, New Jersey, or Philadelphia. Our race discrimination attorneys are knowledgeable about the law and exceptionally skilled in race discrimination amongst other protected classes under employment laws and workplace misconduct such as sexual harassment.
If you feel you have been the victim of workplace discrimination or sexual harassment in New York City, Miami, New Jersey or Philadelphia or if your employment rights have been violated, call us at 800-807-2209 for a free consultation.
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