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St. Vincent Hospital fires worker over threatening note

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,Firing,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training

A white environmental services attendant recently sued St. Vincent Carmel Hospital, claiming racial discrimination and retaliation. The attendant was disciplined several times for taking unauthorized breaks, ignoring pages and similar performance issues. He complained that he was being disciplined unfairly while black co-workers were “only around due to race, gender” and friendships with management.

After several months of continued violations and discipline, the attendant dropped a note in his department’s suggestion box. It read, in part: “I’m not going to lose my job or bonus because of some racist trying to get me and other whites he doesn’t like in trouble by tattling to mommy. I’ve dealt with this in a civil manner up to this point.”

The note concluded, “I have no use for a snitch. In prison they kill snitches. He will not interfere with my livelihood again.”

When he returned to work, security officers escorted him to HR, where he was fired for violating the hospital’s anti-violence policy. The court upheld the termination, ruling that St. Vincent’s “explanation rings true.”

Note: The hospital took the right steps to protect workers by responding immediately, treating the threat as though the employee meant to follow through and involving security in his firing.

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