On November 30, 2012, Judge Greg Costa of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, on remand from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, allowed three Indian cardiologists to move forward with their discrimination claim against David P. Brown, the administrator of Citizen’s Medical Center, finding that under the McDonnell Douglas shifting burden framework, the plaintiff’s had met their burden of showing a prima facie case of discrimination through circumstantial evidence on 4 out of 8 adverse employment actions alleged by the plaintiffs and that the justifications offered by the defendant were pre-textual.
The discrimination included favorable treatment for non-indian cardiologists who were offered lucrative contracts with the hospital and the restriction of access by the indian cardiologists whose patients arrived at the emergency room requesting emergency treatment. Hospital protocols were amended to exclude the indian physicians from participating in the hospital’s Chest Pain Center Committee.
The indian physicians allege that they were denied equal protection of the laws under the federal constitution and discriminated against in violation of Title VII and civil rights protections.
In line with the “loose lips sink ships” caution, Mr. Brown apparently indicated that he was “working to get the indians off the reservation.” He was also quoted to say that letting the indian physicians assume leadership roles at the hospital would “change the complexion” of the hospital. It is sometimes true that the where ignorance and arrogance lead to racial discrimination in the workplace they also provide useful evidence for their own undoing.