A Black employee at White Memorial Medical Center is suing her employer, alleging she has consistently been paid less for doing the same work as men and Latinas.
Jennifer Grant’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit also names as a defendant Adventist Health. She alleges violation of the Equal Pay Act, failure to maintain and provide accurate employment records and violation of the state Business and Professions Code.
A White Memorial representative could not be immediately reached for comment on the suit, which was filed Friday and seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
Grant was hired at the hospital in 2014 as a mental health technician and has worked in the mental health field for more than 20 years, according to her court papers.
“However, despite her competent and loyal work …, Ms. Grant was shocked to discover that much, if not all, of her employment she had been discriminated against in terms of her compensation,” the suit alleges.
Grant found out that beginning in at least 2018, multiple newer male hires in her department were being hired at the rate of $21 per hour, far higher than her pay, the suit states.
“These individuals were hired to perform substantially similar work to that of Ms. Grant and had equal or less experience and education compared to Ms. Grant,” according to the complaint.
After discovering the alleged discrepancy, Grant, the only Black mental health worker on her floor of the hospital, says she began inquiring with other co-workers regarding their pay. She learned that several other mental health technicians, all either men or Latinas, were earning between $22 to $24 per hour for the same or similar work she performed, the suit alleges.
The plaintiff alleges there was no apparent justification for the pay differentials.
“Rather than reward her for her longtime loyalty, (White Memorial) discriminated against Ms. Grant by consistently paying her less than her non-Black and non-female coworkers,” the suit alleges.