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Hospital Sued Over English-Only Issue

Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center was sued Tuesday in federal district court in Los Angeles for requiring foreign-born nurses to speak only English on the job.

Attorney Robin Toma of the American Civil Liberties Union charged that the hospital prevented Filipina nurses in the hospital’s maternity unit from speaking their native Togalog while on breaks, in the cafeteria, or on the telephone.

Almost half the 14 nurses working the evening shift in the hospital’s maternity unit are Filipina, including the plaintiff, Aida Dimaranan. Hospital spokeswoman Christine Karlsen denied that the hospital has ever had an “English-only” policy, but said that “it was our belief that nurses would speak English with doctors and nurses so that, for one thing, patients would understand what was going on.”


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