OAK LAWN, Ill. (CBS) — It’s one of the busiest hospitals in our area, known for helping people and saving lives, but an employee at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn claims the hospital is racist.
He points to these derogatory nametags he was issued and other problems he has encountered at the hospital.
“When I first started there I thought that was my dream job,” said Maurice Walker.
He says his job as a security guard at Advocate Christ Medical Center has been anything but. His federal lawsuit charges “severe and pervasive racial harassment and discrimination” by his supervisors. There was his request for a promotion.
“They were like, you can’t drive on outside patrol because we don’t want anybody black driving and we don’t want the vehicle smelling like Popeye’s chicken,” said Walker.
Walker says he’s constantly referred to with the N word. His boss he says once gave him two photo ids, one with comedian Jimmie J.J. Walker’s picture, the other with his own image, dummied up with fake dreadlocks.
A hospital spokesman says he hasn’t seen the lawsuit but says Advocate takes this claim very seriously and says, “The behavior described does not align with our mission values and philosophy.”
“It hurts so much and it’s a bad thing to go through and I wouldn’t want anybody to go through what I’m going through right now. And to know that you’ve got to accept this cause you’ve got to pay your bills, it’s just wrong,” Walker said.
A co-plaintiff in the suit is a white co-worker of Walker’s, who says when he complained to management about the racial atmosphere he was fired.