For Immediate Release
22 August 2011
Reference: Jun Cruz, NAFCON Public Info Officer
The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) raises the hands of the four Filipino nurses: Corina Yap, Anna Rosales, Hazel Granada, and Hachelle Natano for their collective courage in asserting their civil rights. It can be recalled that they were fired by their former employer Ben Secours Health System in Baltimore, Maryland for speaking in Tagalog as a violation of the company’s “English Only” policy.
Recently, it was determined by the US Equal Employment Opportunity, through its director Gerald Kiel, that there was reasonable cause that Ben Secours Health System subjected the nurses to “unequal terms and condition of employment, a hostile work environment, disciplinary action and discharge because of their nationalorigins (Filipino) in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended.”
NAFCON Executive Vice President Rico Foz praised the Filipino nurses for their couragein asserting their right to speak our native language. Foz also thanked the Filipino community for not faltering in their support for our beleaguered kababayans. “This is Bayanihan in its very essence and spirit, another living proof that if we join hands, our collective voices are definitely heard.”
NAFCON proudly commended its legal counsel, Atty. Arnedo Valera of the Migrant Heritage Commission for pursuing this anti-labor and anti-discriminatory case to victory. “This victory is definitely a victory not only of our community but of all immigrants in the US” added Foz.
There are about four million Filipinos in the US making them the third largest immigrant population in the country, next to Mexico and China. Tagalog, a Filipino language, is the fifth most spoken in the US.
“Indeed, America is a nation of immigrants, of diversity and of multiculturalism. This landmark victory puts us in history once again. The Filipinos in America are a silent minority no more” concluded Foz. # # #
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The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns [NAFCON] is a national multi-issue alliance of Filipino organizations and individuals in the United States serving to protect the rights and welfare of Filipinos by fighting for social, economic, and racial justice and equality. It was launched in San Jose Californiain 2003. At present, NAFCON members encompass over 23 cities in the United States.