Black Woman, 63, Sues Kaiser for Promotion
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (CN) - A black woman lived with harassment at work, but sued when Kaiser passed her up for a promotion based on her race and age and then had her train the 22-year-old who got the job, she claims in a Riverside Superior Court complaint.
Sharon Veazie, 63, worked as a pathologist assistant for Kaiser Permanente since 1989. In April 2011, several tissue technician positions opened up at various Kaiser hospitals in the area, prompting her to apply to be reclassified under that title, she says in her complaint. The job pays $4 to $5 more an hour than what she was making, she says.
Veazie was passed up and later told by a union representative that she was not chosen because she lacks the required college-level science classes to be reclassified, according to the complaint.
The representative also told Veazie that two other pathologist assistants had been reclassified when they did not meet the requirements, the complaint states. Kaiser gave them 18 months to qualify, according to the complaint.
Kaiser then hired a 22-year-old woman of "Caucasian/Pacific Island" descent and put Veazie in charge of training her as a tissue technician, the complaint states.
Veazie alleges she was passed up for the promotion based on race and age, and that this is not the first time she has been discriminated against.
"During the course of plaintiff's employment with defendant Kaiser, plaintiff was subjected to racial harassment by Defendant Kaiser, through persistent humiliating, offensive and derogatory remarks, devaluing her education background, ability, experience and promotional worth based on race. The harassment was sufficiently pervasive so as to alter the conditions of plaintiff's employment, creating an abusive and isolative working environment for plaintiff," the complaint states.
Veazie alleges violations of state law, specifically the Fair Employment and Housing Act. She seeks injunctions to stop the discrimination, and compensatory, special and punitive damages.
The plaintiff is represented by Zulu Ali, in Riverside.