by Steven Ertelt
August 22, 2004
Los Angeles, CA (LifeNews.com) — A group of black and Hispanic employees have filed a federal lawsuit alleging that they were treated in a racist manner by officials at a Planned Parenthood abortion business in southern California.
The complaints, filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the California Fair Employment & Housing Administration, were made by several male staff members.
The former Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles staffers say the abortion facility is directed by white women who have created a hostile workplace environment for men and minority employees.
One complaint from a black employee accuses a PPLA official of referring to him with a racial slur.
"I am African and was shocked by her cultural insensitivity," the complainant said in an affidavit.
"I immediately placed my concerns in writing and requested disciplinary action with the human resources department at PPLA. Nothing ever happened to my complaint," according to the sworn testimony. "In fact, I was later put on probation by a female supervisor and then terminated."
"I am an African-American who witnessed and experienced it," another black employee said. "It upset me because if they allowed her to call him one, they were probably calling all of the African-Americans [the n-word] too."
According to one of the complaints, the investigation of racial slurs by a PPLA officer in charge of ensuring employment laws are followed was halted by higher-ups at PPLA. The person using the racial epithets was never reprimanded.
Richard Ackerman, an attorney who is representing the complainants, said the allegations represented a "sad state of affairs" at the PPLA office.
"It is unfortunate to find out that PPLA, as a self-proclaimed promoter of ‘tolerance and diversity,’ is engaging in what appears to be the most primitive form of hate against its own employees," Ackerman said.
Ackerman invited the ACLU and NAACP to join him in the lawsuit.
The charges also say the office environment at Planned Parenthood ostracizes male workers.
"[Planned Parenthood] posters showing males as irresponsible are prominently displayed throughout headquarters, one shows an African American leaving his child abandoned in the middle of an apartment, another shows all male U.S. Supreme Court justices beating down on women’s rights," according to a complaint.
Another employee said that any PPLA staff member who was not a white female would be "closely watched."
When asked about this case, the Scott Lively, President of the Pro-Family Law Center said, "Considering the claim of liberals to hold a higher standard on racism, I’m appalled that a ‘liberal organization’ based in one of the most liberal cities in the United States would be so cavalier about racial issues as to allow this type of insulting conduct to occur in its offices."