June 1, 2010 - There has been a lot of recent press focusing on Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) Medical clinics and hospitals. One of the latest headlines concerning the VA is a federal discrimination lawsuit filed by a former VA employee.
Christine Brown is a LPN (licensed practical nurse) from Butler County, PA and worked at the Butler VA Medical Hospital. After she was fired, she filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Butler VA Hospital. Brown's lawsuit is based on two very distinct claims:
According to Brown's lawsuit, the events leading up to her firing started with her taking a picture of a VA patient undergoing treatment while inside a whirlpool bath. Brown posted the picture inside the patient's room. Brown's supervisors then began taking the necessary steps to fire her.
Once the events were put in motion to fire Brown, she filed an internal VA complaint. Her complaint was based on male employees having committed very comparable actions and not having been fired. Brown therefore concludes she was being discriminated against for being female. Once the internal complaint was filed alleging discrimination, Brown's lawsuit then alleges her supervisors leveled another charge against her. This new charge accused Brown of improperly accessing a patient's records and fired her.
Brown's lawsuit is asking for very specific damages and/or her possible reinstatement back to her prior position. Should she be reinstated, however, she is still asking she be awarded back pay. To date, the VA has not commented on the lawsuit or Brown's firing.
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