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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



PRESS RELEASE
10-4-11

EEOC Sues Utah Medical Clinic for National Origin Discrimination

Salt Lake Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center, LLC Verbally Abused Employees Because of their Mexican Origin, Federal Agency Charges

PHOENIX -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced that it is suing a Utah medical clinic for workplace discrimination. The EEOC charges that managers for Salt Lake Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center, LLC created and perpetuated a hostile work environment for employees based on national origin discrimination and constructively discharged one of the employees. The lawsuit is filed on behalf of two victims.

The EEOC’s lawsuit, CIV 11-00918-CW, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Utah, alleges that two employees, Sara Reynoso and Rachael Maier, were routinely subjected to unwelcome national origin harassment, including derogatory comments and slurs by the companies’ managers, which created a hostile work environment because of their Mexican national origin. The complaint further alleges that one of the employees was constructively discharged.

National origin discrimination in the workplace, including harassment based on national origin violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Commission seeks monetary damages, includeing compensatory and punitive damages for the two victims. In addition, the EEOC asks for injunctive relief requiring Salt Lake Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center to institute and implement policies to eradicate and prevent future episodes of national origin discrimination.

Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill of the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office whose jurisdiction includes Utah, stated, “It is illegal for employers to allow national origin discrimination in the workplace. No employee should have to endure this type of behavior in order to make a living.”

“Salt Lake Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center appears to have allowed and tolerated national origin discrimination in the workplace,” said EEOC District Director Rayford Irvin. “The incidents alleged in this complaint remind us that, unfortunately, discrimination based on national origin remains a factor in some workplaces. Such discriminatory conduct must be addressed and eradicated from the work environment.”

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.