Minority doctor charges St. Luke's Health Services with retaliatory discrimination

By Carol Ostrow | Jul 30, 2015

PHILADELPHIA - A minority employee HAS filed suit against a group of health care providers claiming discrimination and retaliatory behavior in 2014 when she was terminated from her position.

Ziba Monafred of Bethlehem sued St. Luke’s University Health Network and St. Luke’s Physician Group Inc., formerly known as St. Luke’s Health Services Inc. of Bethlehem, and Nazareth Family Practice of Nazareth in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania on July 21, claiming civil rights violations in the plaintiff’s August 2014 job loss.

According to the complaint, Monafred was an employee of the defendants for three years, working at their Nazareth location as a physician. The suit states that she witnessed discriminatory and derogatory comments that were offensive to her national origin and race. Monafred, who is of Iranian descent, listed examples of comments using the terms “foreigners,” “deportation,” and other racial slurs.

The suit states that when the plaintiff complained about the alleged racially and ethnically discriminatory behavior, the company failed to engage with her interactively to resolve the issue. Instead, Monafred alleges, she was terminated because she was not a “good match” for the company.

Exact dates of the incidents were not cited in the filing.

Alleging that she was fired in retaliation for her opposition to unlawful discrimination, the plaintiff alleges distress, pain and suffering. She seeks front and back pay with benefits, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, and court costs. Monafred is represented by Ari Karpf of Karpf, Karpf & Cerutti in Bensalem.

U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania Case 5:15-cv-04017-JFL

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