Civil Rights Paper Instructions .
Analyze the issues of racial discrimination and of sex harassment in the following scenario. Discuss
what the likely legal outcome is in your opinion and what civil rights laws may have been violated
Cayce Pollard is a new nurse at Big City Hospital (BCH)l, a public hospital. She is a registered
nurse with a special training in neonatal intensive care. She has been hired to work in the NICU at
Big City Hospital. Ms. Pollard is African-American.
In her first month of work, a new patient arrived, a young male infant born at 20 weeks. Cayce’s
supervisor commended her on her work and professionalism in caring for the infant. After a few
days a note appeared in the child’s chart, “No African-American nurses or staff”. This note was
signed by the nursing supervisor. Cayce was upset and asked the Nursing Supervisor what was
meant in the chart. The Nursing Supervisor indicated that she was acting only on the request of the
family. The child’s parents had taken the Nurse Supervisor aside and told her, “We don’t want any
black nurses taking care of our son. They don’t know what they are doing.” The Nursing
Supervisor told Cayce that she understood how she must be upset but that BCH has the only NICU
in the area, and the child needs the care and attention.
Cayce has also been frustrated by her experiences in the break room. Her colleagues Damien and
Bernard often take break when she does. They are good friends and have been nothing but friendly
with her. She considers them to all be friends. She does feel uncomfortable though when Damien is
on his phone. Damien spends his time flipping through Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr when he’s on
his phone. He frequently is viewing a lot of sexually explicit and, for Cayce, uncomfortable images.
Sometimes he shows the images to Bernard and they laugh a bit. She can tell that they try and hide
the phone from her view when they can but she ends up seeing the images quite often. Even when
she doesn’t see the images, she knows what they are laughing about and is uncomfortable. She has
checked the policy for BCH. BCH has a policy prohibiting sexual harassment. The BCH policy
states, “BCH is opposed to sexual harassment. To report sexual harassment, contact the attending
in your department.” Cayce doesn’t want to do this since her attending, Dr. Morris, often comes in
to the break room and jokes about some of the images on Damien’s phone.
Sex Harassment and Racial Discrimination
The presented case analysis explores a situation where Cayce Pollard, a registered nurse and
neonatal intensive care unit specialist at Big City Hospital, experiences racial discrimination and sex
harassment. She is an African- American. Regardless of the fact that Pollard’s supervisor commended her
for her professionalism and work in caring for the young male infant, she received a note that had been
signed by the Nursing Supervisor authorizing that she was no longer allowed to handle the patient
because of her race. The patient’s family had expressed an interest to the Nursing Supervisor that their
son should not be handled by a black nurse since they are never aware of what they are doing. The
Nursing supervisor is on the parents’ side and both are subjecting Pollard to racial discrimination
(LaVeist, Rolley & Diala, 2009). When Pollard is spending time with Bernard and Damien, they harass
her sexually. The two share sexually explicit images from Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook in her presence
and make jokes about them. This makes Pollard uncomfortable. Although they try hiding the images,
Pollard is able to see them. Sometimes she does not see the images but the two laugh and she knows what
SEX HARASSSMENT AND RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
they are laughing about. Dr. Morris who is responsible for addressing issues of sexual harassment enjoys
Damien’s images and jokes about them as well.
Racial discrimination has immense negative impacts on the employee. As a result of racial
discrimination, Pollard is upset. This will impact on her performance as a neonatal specialist despite the
fact that her supervisor commended her professionalism and work. Having been discriminated personally,
Pollard will be more aware of the situation, which might make her afraid to handle patients who are likely
to discriminate her. Employees and staff should not take sides when there are cases of racial
discrimination but should address them (Landrine & Klonoff, 2011). The Nursing Supervisor is
unethical since she supports the family’s idea and goes ahead to show her discrimination of Pollard. The
Nursing Supervisor should have addressed the issue regardless of the fact that they are the only NICU
around and the child requires attention and care. Pollard should report this matter so that the hospital can
punish the culprits, enforce its rules, and prevent similar cases in future. Bernard and Damien should
avoid cases of subjecting fellow employees to sexual harassment. The hospital institution should lay
down stringent measures to avoid sexual harassment and ensure that rules are followed. This is
considering that employees who are accountable of addressing such issues are actually enjoying them.
Pollard should also look for another official to whom she can report the issues so as to ensure that it is
addressed (Landrine & Klonoff, 2011).
The health care environment is keen on maintaining civil rights’ principles. In addition, there is a
concern for preventing all forms of discrimination against groups and individual be it based on religion,
national origin, age, race, sex, sexual orientation, race, or disability (LaVeist, Rolley & Diala, 2009).
Employees are entitled to a workplace that is free from racial discrimination and sexual harassment. Both
have adverse negative impacts on employees and the workplace including low self esteem, anxiety,
mental anguish, prolonged humiliation, and bitter feelings. Health care institutions have a role of
eliminating cases of sex harassment and racial discrimination and laying down strategies for ensuring that
rules on the same are followed strictly.
There are likely legal outcomes in the presented case scenario. Violation of Title VII of Civil
Rights Act of 1964 on racial discrimination may result to legal proceedings and charges on the Nursing
Supervisor and recovery of punitive and compensatory damages on Pollard. Big City Hospital is liable for
racial discrimination and sexual harassment since Dr. Morris and the Nursing Supervisor are promoting
an environment where the two practices are encouraged (Karlsen & Nazroo, 2010). Dr. Morris,
SEX HARASSSMENT AND RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
Bernard, and Damien may be charged in a court based of how regularly they commit sex harassment, how
severe it is, and if it interferes with Pollard’s easiness and performance at work. Pollard should file a
complaint of sex harassment and racial discrimination to the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission in her state. In addition, Pollard can decide to file a claim with Fair Employment Practices in
her state, file a common law tort, or follow mediation (LaVeist, Rolley & Diala, 2009).
There are several civil right laws that prevent sex harassment and racial discrimination in the
healthcare environment. The health care environment is keen on maintaining civil rights’ principles but
some civil right laws may be violated in this case (Franke, 2009). The first is the Civil Rights Act of
1964 (Title VII) that prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of national origin, sex, religion,
color, and race. The patient’s family and the Nursing Supervisor are discriminating Pollard based on her
race; she is African- American. Civil Rights Act of 1964 also hinders employers from creating or
permitting a workplace where some or all employees are exposed to a hostile, sexually-charged
SEX HARASSSMENT AND RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
Franke, K. M. (2009). What’s wrong with sexual harassment. Stan. L. Rev., 49, 691.
Karlsen, S., & Nazroo, J. Y. (2010). Relation between racial discrimination, social class, and
health among ethnic minority groups. American journal of public health, 92(4), 624-631.
Landrine, H., & Klonoff, E. A. (2011). Discrimination against Women: Prevalence,
Consequences, Remedies. Sage Publications, 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA
LaVeist, T. A., Rolley, N. C., & Diala, C. (2009). Prevalence and patterns of discrimination
among US health care consumers. International Journal of Health Services, 33(2), 331-