Manatt’s Esra Hudson, chair of the firm’s employment and labor practice, was interviewed by Healthcare Risk Management for an article on a lawsuit that alleges a healthcare facility catered to patient demands for only white caregivers.
Hudson noted that these situations can be difficult for healthcare organizations trying to keep patients satisfied and avoid conflict with caregivers. Patients often ask for caregivers who make them more comfortable, and the request does not always concern race or other outright discrimination.
“Hospitals and other healthcare providers tend to try to accommodate those requests because there is a culture of accommodation generally regarding patient desires,” she said. “But Title VII prohibits discrimination against employees on a number of criteria, and over time the courts have been clear that that includes customer preferences.”