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Major San Francisco Hospital Charged With Discrimination by California Nurses Association and Filipino Community Groups

Filipino community organizations and a leading state nurses association are charging San Francisco hospital California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) with “systematic discrimination,” due its reported ongoing practice of discouraging the employment of Filipino nurses.

In a press release issued on August 19, the California Nurses Association (CNA), an advocacy group comprised of healthcare professionals like San Francisco registered nurses and San Jose RNs, announced it had filed a complaint with the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. A corresponding letter charged Sutter Health and its affiliate CPMC hospital “with employment discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, and national origin.”

Along with calling for an SF Human Rights Commission investigation into CPMC, the professional organization, which represents Sacramento RNs and other registered nurses, filed a class action grievance against the hospital and Sutter Health for contract violations related to discriminatory hiring practices. The California Nurses association also asked Sutter Health to demand CPMC “cease and desist” employment discrimination.

According to last Thursdays announcement, the CNA was joined by more than two dozen leaders of Filipino organizations and community groups in calling for a meeting with the hospital’s CEO Warren Browner and the Sutter Bay West Bay Vice President of Nursing Diana Karner. The groups are also demanding CPMC “publicly renounce its discriminatory practices, and commit to equal opportunity regardless of race or national origin.”

In a press conference last Thursday, CNA revealed testimony from former CPMC nursing professionals, including supervisors with first-hand experience of the discrimination against Filipino nurses. In onestate from the hospital’s former Critical Care Services director, the VP nursing director Karner reportedly advised him “not to hire any Filipinos.”

As further evidence, CNA provided a list of current employees at the CPMC-operated St. Luke’s hospital. The documents show that before February 2008, about 65 percent of the hospital’s registered nurses were Filipino; however, after February 2008, Filipino nurses comprised only 10 percent of the facility’s RN staff.

In the CNA press release, the supporting groups Filipino Community Center and the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns expressed their concerns against Sutter Health and CPMC through spokesperson Terry Valen.

“Our community needs access to healthcare and good jobs.  Sutter/CPMC’s discrimination against Filipino nurses is another blatant example of the abuse that Filipino migrant workers face in the United States,” Valen said.

For additional information on the California Nurses Association, please visit:


To learn more about the California Pacific Medical Center and Sutter Health, please go to: