Internationally known Black pediatric surgical ophthalmologist Dr. Omondi Nyong’o has filed a major racial discrimination lawsuit against Sutter Health, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, and Palo Alto Foundation Medical Group (together known as Sutter) in San Francisco Superior Court.

In his statement, Dr Nyong’o stated that along with other Black doctors they had repeatedly asked Sutter to treat them fairly, but Sutter never heeded their suggestions to provide a more equitable culture. He also mentioned that many times they also had to face severe retaliation for demanding equality.

The lawsuit filed under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, the California Fair Pay Act, the California Health and Safety Code, and the California Unfair Competition Law claim racial discrimination against African American doctors at Sutter. AS per lawsuit this case comes under workplace discrimination among employee which violates the civil right of person.

The lawsuit alleges that the doctors faced discrimination in matters related to pay and promotions, down-leveling, prejudiced reviews, intensified scrutiny, racial harassment and unfair discipline.

Dr Nyong’o stated that even after spending more than a decade as one of the most accomplished doctors at Sutter, he faced racism and discrimination at his workplace. The lawsuit alleged that even though Sutter held Dr Nyong’o as an example of the group’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, the workplace culture at the hospital disrespected, undermined and disciplined African American doctors.

The plaintiff was repeatedly subjected to racial bias during promotions, he was demoted to please the white leadership and disciplined when he challenged the unfair treatment. He was underpaid and retaliated against at the hospital.

Sutter is one of the leading and biggest healthcare systems in the country. Currently out of the 1800 physicians at Sutter’s Palo Alto Medical Foundation only 18 doctors are black. The plaintiff Dr Omondi Nyong’o said that he was compelled to bring the lawsuit not for himself but for the other Black doctors who were afraid to come forward and take on big guns like Sutter.

He said that their sole aim is to offer excellent patient care in a work environment where Black doctors do not have to fight for equality with their management.

The lawsuit reveals how the healthcare industry is plagued by racial hostility. It aims to fight for the rights of the black professionals who are working in discriminatory and unfair conditions.

California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) protects employees from discrimination, retaliation and harassment at their workplace. The FEHA anti-discrimination provisions are applicable to all employers having five or more full-time or part-time employees. Additionally, the provisions under FEHA’s anti-harassment policy are applicable to employers having one or more employees.

Most of the nondiscrimination and harassment principles of federal law also applicable under the FEHA. The FEHA protects the employees from discrimination under the following protected categories:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex/gender
  • Sexual orientation
  • Marital status
  • Disability
  • National origin
  • Age (over 40)


The FEHA also protects a person from any retaliation for filing a complaint under the FEHA or for assisting any investigation under FEHA.

Workplace Racial Discrimination Lawyers California

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other federal and California state laws related to employment and labor, prohibits any form of workplace discrimination in an organization. If you believe that you are being treated unfairly or discriminated against at your workplace, contact our team of workplace discrimination lawyers at Khashan Law Firm today.

Over the last 2 decades, we have taken up organizations and taken strict action against them for supporting discrimination and treating their employees unfairly. Contact us at 951.461.2387 for a free and confidential consultation.