Ex-CFO Sues New York Health Care Facility for Race Discrimination

According a lawsuit filed in Nassau County, New York, a woman has sued her former employer, Center for Comprehensive Health Practice (CCHP) for discrimination based on her national origin, race, and Asian ethnicity. Monday’s complaint seeks redress under New York State Human Rights Law for discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination.

The filing explains that CCHP is a New York non-profit that provides primary care, substance use treatment, behavioral health, and supportive services. Reportedly, once hired as the company’s CFO in December 2020, the plaintiff performed well during her tenure according to performance evaluations and recognition by the board of directors and senior leadership.

In April 2021, the filing explains that an “inner circle” of three white women, all officers or directors, “distributed a plan for administrative office usage requiring all members of the administration to share office spaces except for the ‘circle’ who only went into the office once or twice per week.” The plaintiff reacted with concern based on the unfair nature of the plan and its effect on her team, all of whom happened to be non-white employees.

The plaintiff was reportedly told that her concern was premature in view of the plan’s preliminary nature. However, when the final plan was distributed in June, it included the sharing of four to five offices for administration purposes. The three members of the circle and another director were each given a private office while “of the six people sharing an office, four were immigrants and a fifth was Puerto Rican with an unknown immigration status.” 

After the plaintiff made known her apprehension regarding the disparate treatment of her and her co-workers of color, she was terminated under the pretense that she was not a good fit for CCHP. The complaint argues that the plaintiff was “fired in what smacks of clear retaliation for engaging in a protected activity.”

The former CFO claims that she has suffered emotional pain, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, among other non-pecuniary losses as a result of the allegedly discriminatory conduct. She seeks declaratory relief and damages.

The plaintiff is represented by Gerstman Schwartz LLP.