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Michigan Nurse Sues Hospital for Racial Discrimination

Update Date: Feb 19, 2013 01:00 PM EST

Tonya Battle, a 49 year-old veteran nurse at the Hurley Medical Center in Flint, is suing the hospital after she was taken off of a case due to her skin color. Battle, who is African American, has worked at the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit for 25 years and was recently reassigned after a Caucasian male specifically requested that no African American nurses could tend to his newborn child.

According to the lawsuit, the man went up to Battle's supervisor, showed her a swastika looking tattoo, and  proceeded to request that no one of color can tend to his baby. The request managed to reach all the way to the hospital's management level and was granted. The managers informed Battle via phone that she would be reassigned due to the man's request that her skin color was unfit to care for his child. For over a month, the hospital did not assign any African American nurses to the child. There was also a written note in the child's charts that no African Americans were allowed to be assigned to this case and that no African American nurses were allowed to touch the baby.

According to CNN, Battle "was very upset [and] very offended." After Battle and her lawyer filed a complaint, the hospital decided to revoke its decision and informed the man that the hospital can no longer fulfill his request. However, the damage was already done since Battle was sidelined and prevented from doing her job. The hospital managers have refused to comment on their actions.

According to The Flint's Journal, Reverend Al Sharpton's National Action Network plans to hold a protest today, Tuesday February 19th, near the hospital in support of Battle's lawsuit.

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