The University of California Board of Regents has been ordered to pay $1.58 million to a former UCLA employee over claims of a hostile work environment, according to a press release from the former employee’s lawyers Tuesday.
Nicole Birden, who worked as a phlebotomist at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica, claimed co-workers harassed her and made racially charged comments towards her.
According to the press release, Birden’s co-workers made racial slurs and disparaging remarks about her skin color. Her co-workers also allegedly made harassing phone calls to Birden during work hours and tampered with blood specimens she had drawn.
The UC Regents terminated Birden’s employment in June 2016, despite the fact that she was not previously reprimanded and had not received previous disciplinary action, the press release said.
The Los Angeles jury who heard the case ordered the UC Regents to pay Birden for past and future economic losses, emotional stress and mental harm.