KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (CN) - A clinical nurse assistant claims a racist manager kicked her out of her office, made her do administrative work on a hospital floor, and forced her to lug around a heavy, four-drawer file cabinet as a needless part of her daily chores. And when the manager fired her on a pretext, she crowed, "I finally got rid of that 'Nigger,'" according to the federal complaint.
Tiffany Donaldson sued her former employer, Jefferson City Health and Rehabilitation. She did not sue Karen Hamrick, the director of nursing, whom Donaldson says has a history of discrimination against black employees.
Donaldson had just been promoted to clinical nurse assistant (CNA) scheduler when she started working directly under Hamrick, according to the complaint.
Donaldson claims that Hamrick "has a history of racial discrimination of which defendant employer was aware," and "frequently used racially derogatory language regarding African Americans."
Shortly after Donaldson was promoted, she claims, Hamrick told another employee, "I am going to get rid of that black girl."
Hamrick removed her from her office and moved her to the floor in unit three, "where nurses give baths to and perform other services for patients," Donaldson says.
No other CNA scheduler, before or after Donaldson, has been required to work on the floor, and Donaldson was the only scheduler who was not given an office, she says.
She says her new work post did not have a phone, though as a scheduler she needed one to do her work. "This required plaintiff to walk to other unit halls each time she needed to use the telephone."
And, she says, Hamrick made her drag a file cabinet full of confidential documents from Hamrick's office to the floor every day, before and after every shift. The filing cabinet had been in her own office before Hamrick kicked her out of it, Donaldson says, and "was extremely heavy, and was impossible for plaintiff to load and transport alone."
"Further, plaintiff's new work area was out in the open, meaning that anyone potentially had access to the confidential documentation contained in the file cabinet if the plaintiff had to leave her work area for any reason," the complaint states.
She claims that Hamrick her "for the manner in which she processed the rehire packet of her [Donaldson's] mother."
Donaldson says she processed her mother's rehire packet just like she processed all the other packets.
After Hamrick fired her, Donaldson says, "Ms. Hamrick bragged to another employee, 'I finally got rid of that 'Nigger.'"
Donaldson seeks damages for race discrimination, negligent supervision and negligent retention. She is represented by Link Gibbons.
Read the Top 8
Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.