Lawsuit Accuses University of Miami of Racial Discrimination

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New York, NY: The University of Miami conducts background checks that discriminate against African Americans and Latinos, a class action lawsuit filed in Miami federal court today alleges. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Loudy Appolon of Miami, Florida, accuses the University of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by rejecting or firing qualified individuals because of their credit background, even though credit history does not predict employment performance. In fact, there is no correlation between credit history and job performance or trustworthiness, and credit reports are often rife with inaccuracies.

According to the Complaint, "Defendants' hiring policy duplicates the racial discrimination present in the credit reporting system . . . This discriminatory denial of employment affects not only the individuals who are rejected or terminated, but also their families and entire communities, replicating minority under-employment and compounding credit inequities in the process."

The lawsuit alleges that Ms. Appolon interviewed for a senior medical collector position with the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine in June 2009. She was offered the position, but the day before she was due to start her new job -- after she had already resigned from her previous job -- the University informed Ms. Appolon that she would not be hired because of her credit history. "I was shocked," says Ms. Appolon. "I've worked in this industry for years, and my credit was never a problem."

The lawsuit seeks to require that the University stop using credit history as a screen for employment, that it make Ms. Appolon and other class members eligible for hire, and that the University pay lost wages.

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Reader Comments

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I have been harassed, bullied and singled out and by my manager and supervisor for 5 months. It all started in (February 19th, 2019) first I was accused of

Insubordination and not following established policies
• continue to see an inappropriate exchange through email

• Andreas and Tyrone had conversations on how to provide more appropriate and professional Customer service.( my defense- we had a conversation on one patient who accused me of something but after listening to call I was proven to be innocent by the human resources manager so she advised him "supervisor" to remove the audio from the written warning, he removes the call and leaves the above statement that was directed to the audio)
• no noted improvement on written communication and QA responses after counselling (my defense- I had one situation where I was a bit unprofessional and after that one-time situation " it occurred 10/26/2018 " it has not accrued again within the time frame of this written warning" written warning was issued "February 19,2019" 4 months later. the written warning stated there has been a continuance of unprofessional email exchange from my end after a counseling from management but between the October date and the February date it is a complete lie and i haven't even been given a verbal or counseling for the October situation. I've requested proof of all counseling sessions and proof of a continuance nothing has been produced)
• Misuse of PTO code when requesting time off (i.e. no work no pay etc.) ( my defense - I did some digging and found a policy that was issued 4 years ago and it clearly states this- Can an employee request no work no pay? it answers the question as well. no, an employee is not permit to elect unpaid leave when the employee has available accrued vacation time for use. ANY time I select no work no pay, I didn't have any vacation time to use. But they didn't expect me to find the policy that I found. even after the written warning i selected no work no pay again on (may 2,3 of 2019 and was not penalized because they knew they were in the wrong but they refused to edit or even take the false written warning away. so please explain how can I be written up for something I as an employee have a right to due from the company policy? but even after being written up for this, I have used this same system they said I can't use and I asked them numerous times. why penalize me for something in February and in May and June I don't get penalized? no response
• Request during blackout out period need to be submitted for written approval from senior leadership before the employee takes the time off. (My defense typically in almost any situation if it is a first-time offense, you'll get a warning. this was a first-time offense for me and instead I was written up with no questions asked but everyone else gets a verbal warning and a cancelling and that's where I'm feeling mistreated and discriminated against. I recently found out a white, Cuban, female. Was in a similar situation and did not wait until written approval same as I, did not inform her manager or supervisor and was not written up. She brought that conversation up to me and I listened and she explained everything to me. I decided to document it and I emailed her back everything she said to me and I asked her if she can confirm our conversation and immediately she replied " I don't want to be involved, please remove me from this situation" but in no way did she deny our conversation" so I printed that email out. Date of conversation was June 06, 2019. I will try and get her dates of when she left without written approval as well.
• on 01/18/2019 you left before approval from Huley (senior manager) was granted in writing, you left property without informing your direct supervisor or manager (my defense- again same as the white, Cuban, female who was not disciplined.) and this was supposed to be two dates but they changed it to one because the senior manager vouched for the other date. I advised them I found it very unprofessional for a senior manager to forget he gave me approval to leave and after I am issued a written warning and I defend myself is when he remembers he gave me approval for one but not the other. but write ups go to the senior manager before it is issued to the employee so he saw it before me and never asked my manager to remove the date because he thought I wasn't going to fight this matter and then he doubled back and said no I gave him approval for this other date but not the 18th. Sidebar: this same senior manager had advised other agent’s things verbally and I found this out after being in the situation, basically the hard way. But instead of a verbal like any other employee, I was written up right away. Typically it would be a verbal / counselling like any other employee. Management lied on my paperwork saying I was given a verbal, so I requested proof of the counselling sessions and instead of producing documentation, I’ve been prolonged and ignored.

I have been seeing a psychiatrist for 3 months due to the bullying tactics and indirect overwhelming and emotional stressful environment I have been enduring. I have documentation of everything and when I say everything. I mean everything! I have an entire notebook." I forward and print out ALL of my emails and all meetings I document them and send confirmation emails after speaking to them and audio record everything! " I still am not sitting well with the false written warning I was issued on ( February 19th,2019 ) 1 week later after I was issued the written warning , I requested a meeting with human resources date ( February 26,2019 ) and after my meeting with human resources and her telling me I have the right as an employee to request proof of whatever I am being accused of. She needed to do some more investigating and make sure certain policies were legit. She prolonged me and took her time and I reached out again (march 13th, 2019) and said she was scheduling a meeting with the VP and I waited and waited, I reached out to her again on (march 19th, 2019) and still hadn't heard anything. Reached out again on (march 26, 2019) and she finally responded and we had a meeting regarding my concerns. I waited to hear the verdict regarding the false written warning from human resources. I reached out again (April 02, 2019) & (April 03, 2019) she disappears and never responses. I sent her a 2k word rebutting the written warning and this was on (May, 29th, 2019) and she responded saying she will add it to my written warning. I wasn't able to speak to my manager or supervisor due to them both sticking together and willing to through me under the bus for lies. They can lie and say I said anything at this point so I don't meet or speak to them unless a 3rd party is involved (I requested). It's been like this for months. I have dates, times and all of it in black and white, you request it and I have it. i reached out to the vice president on (April 11,2019) and assumed she would want to do what was right vs siding with management and she did the total opposite of what I thought she was going to do. We set a meeting for (April 19th, 2019) and had a brief conversation regarding my concerns and she told me to give her some time to investigate. our second meeting took place (April 29th, 2019) in that meeting she basically told me that my written warning was standing and it wasn't going to be taken away, I told her but where's the proof? Can I have the proof please? She said let's set up another meeting with you and your manager and she will show me the proof. I said what? You’re the vice president your reason for saying it is standing is because you saw the proof right? I laughed and said so you haven't saw the proof but you can tell me it is standing? And she looked at me crazy. That doesn't make not one bit of sense! i left the meeting and sent a bullet point about 7 of each allegations I was being accused of and requested proof! To the Vice president (email requesting proof from vice president was sent on (April 30th, 2019) her reply to that email was that she would get back to me. a month goes by and no evidence yet. I sent a follow up email on ( May 17th, 2019 ) requesting the documentation and a week and two days later ( May 27th, 2019 ) I was emailed back from the vice president saying I was given proof of each allegation and I would not be given anything further and if I continue being insubordinate/ requesting proof I would be addressed accordingly but I had never been insubordinate with her or anyone else other than the one time situation in October now she is trying to portray me as an angry , black man to cover up documentation her managers have fabricated. “she has threatened my job" she told me if I want to continue serving as a patient access representative I would corporate accordingly. I forwarded that email to human resources on (May 30th, 2019) and have not heard from them yet. They have falsified documentation and won't show me proof of what they are accusing me of and then started the retaliation with me after I requested proof of the allegations was issued back in February. Retaliation #1 was removing an approved request I had on the workday system for (April 26, 2019) that date was requested on ( 02/12/2019 ) and 2 months later it was removed on ( March 24, 2019 ) no notification or anything but anytime you remove a date you are supposed to leave something in the comment section for your reason for removing it and he purposely didn't leave a comment." they had no clue i had proof of the day I requested, the day it was approved and a month later when it was still approved and even the random disappearance of it. I made copies and showed the vice president but she's a liar as well so she classified the matter as an error with the workday system! i didn't and still don't believe the "error". The system said my supervisor "Andreas" removed the day, that isn't an error and i have a copy of it as well with his name next to it. retaliation #2 a month later it was in may for (May 28th, 2019 ) he removed this request and he put in the comment section his reason for the cancellation was because " I said I was going to select a different day" a complete lie! I admittedly sent him an email and cc the manager saying i did not request my may request/ date to be removed, in the email I let it be known I still needed that date and I don't want it removed. Then we moved on to a month later. Retaliation #3 -I requested two different dates and out of nowhere they disappeared again! But of course I print everything out.

I get an email from management telling me the request was denied due to two other agents requesting the same days and the MAX of people are out. I didn't believe it of course; it just didn't make sense. I reached out to one of the two agents through email and she told me she requested the same dates as me on (05/08/2019) - and I requested the same dates (05/06/2019) that is two days before one or both of these agents. I sent an email on (May 21, 2019) to management requesting when both of the agents requested the same dates as me. I was prolonged and didn't get a response until 2 weeks later by the manager "Maria Perez" she informed me the max of people were out and that is why my dates were denied. I replied and stated that is not why it was denied; it was denied because management didn't want me out that day. I requested a meeting with human resources and she advised me the agent had personal matters to take care of and I informed her that I don't think it was right or appropriate to remove m day based upon someone else matters. She said she would get back to me and took a week to do so but I didn't hear from her and I had to reach out again, then I reached out to my manager/ supervisor and the email with the subject - favoritism, retaliation, discrimination. after they read that email then I am magically given the dates with no worries but I had to send almost 4 emails just to get the days I was in my rights to have since I requested it first. this isn't the first time my dates were taken with no notification; it happens last December of 2018 retaliation #4 (I have an email exchange between me and both my managers of them telling me they denied my request because no work no pay request cannot be approved. but as I said in the beginning of this letter. I actually do have the right to select no work, no pay because the policy says so and in December of 2018, I didn't have that policy to put in there face so I said okay and left the December of 2018 request alone. But I've been doing my research and I just found this email. So, they lied to me and gave the dates to someone else. I have copies of everything, dates, times and names, all statements, meeting and conversations. My request for time has been mistreated 4 different times for the past 4 months and no one else is going through it but me. It is all retaliation due to me requesting proof of a recent written warning I received, I didn't sit well with the lies that were told on me so I pulled policies and started asking questions.

When it comes to females in my department, I have been mistreated and there needs have been put before mine. I have been here two years and another agent, black, female has went to work from home simply because she had relations with a senior manager ( black , male, Huley ) vs me who has been here 2 years and requested to go home almost 6 months before she did. I requested multiple meetings with senior managers, human resources and even the vice president. Seems as if human resources and the vice president are covering up the manager’s mess with falsifying documentation on an employee. I actually have not been given any information and it's been so over whelming and it is taking a toll on my mental and emotional state since the situation has started, I have been seeing a psychiatrist for 3 months and still seeing her. Also wanted to add in a retaliation #5 June 26-28 request of this year were taken away as well, no notification again and I had to email them again and ask why were my dates being removed and she replied she was questioning my request and I sent her a email of a 2 month old conversation and she replied my apologies and I replied your apology is not accepted. I checked the email again and noticed she was trying to basically say I was misusing our workday system and I emailed her again and informed her I found it inappropriate and unprofessional to continue to falsely accuse me of things with no evidence and she read it and didn’t reply but again my request magically appears on the system. If I would have never had copies of the request I had already made and past conversations to email them back, I wouldn’t have been given any of the request I rightfully earned. I am feeling discriminated against due to my race, sexual orientation, gender, culture. I am the only African American, openly gay, male in my department, I am the only agent who gets my request removed, denied and mistreated because I have requested proof of something, and they accused me of. I have cried many times before going into work and it beyond sad at this point and my doctor is well aware of everything that has transpired. They have failed to show proof and I am 100 percent sure they do not have it because they would have produced it months ago.

Do you have any copies of documents regarding to the claim?

Yes, I have documentation of everything and when I say everything, I mean that.
From when the harassment/ falsified documentation started from management to end.

Reported the matter to
• human resources
• two senior managers
• vice president

• dates
• times
• names
• all the email and meetings in black and white
• audio calls as well / not good for the court but good to recall and refresh your memory

Management names
• manager for primary care- Perez, Maria -WHITE CUBAN

• supervisor for primary care- Hedges-Wehner, Andreas Kurt- white German
• vice president- Danner,Cary - white Cuban
• Senior manager- Ortega, Evicel- white Cuban


• emotional stress
• mental stress
• discrimination regarding my race, culture and sexual orientation
• Has caused me to seek mental and emotional help with a psychiatrist for the past 3 months regarding on how to handle the matters of a hostile environment. I have knots in my stomach when I walk into work, I can't speak to my manager or supervisor due to them easily fabricating a story on me and it stresses me out while at work, i am gaining weight, stopped taking normal amount of classes per semester due to the stress and I am still seeing my psychiatrist as we speak.

Posted by

I've been working with this company for two years. Simple request like work from home were denied to me but employees that has less seniority or less trained were able to go work from home to convivence them. I also have a list of the employees who started after me that management were able to accommodate their schedules. When asked my manager and supervisors they stated to me this is based on operational needs, as I Stated others were allowed to go home prior to me an I put in the request before them. My old manger handed down a low evaluation to me I transferred out of her department due to her bullying, intimidation tactics. I go in to anther department to only experience the same issues an this manger still using retaliation methods against me . I have proof of ALL events

Posted by

Discrimination is alive and well at University of Miami please contact via email.

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