A Black nurse in Michigan is suing her employer for not allowing her to touch a White baby. Tonya Battle is suing Hurley Medical Center in Flint, for not allowing her to touch one of the infants, after the baby’s father asked them to do so.
The man approached Battle, while she was caring for his child in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, asking to speak to her supervisor, according to the complaint filed in January by Battle’s attorney.
She pointed the charge nurse in his direction.
The man, who is not named in the filing, allegedly showed her a tattoo that may have been “a swastika of some kind” and told her that he didn’t want African-Americans involved in his baby’s care.
The request, according to the lawsuit, made its way through management ranks, and was granted. Battle’s manager called her at home to tell her she would be reassigned — and why, the suit says.
She was shocked and in disbelief, her attorney Julie Gafkay told CNN affiliate WNEM. “She was very upset. She was very offended.”
The hospital did not immediately respond late Friday to a CNN request for comment.
The baby’s medical file apparently stated that no Black nurses have contact with the baby. Battle also claims that the child’s father showed hospital officials “a swastika of some kind.”
Battle initially filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She is seeking compensatory damages for harm to her reputation, and emotional stress.
Photo: Sechom Bahia