The plaintiff, a former Planned Parenthood diversity manager, claims that the organization forced Black employees to work more than their White counterparts.
A former Planned Parenthood employee has filed a lawsuit against the reproductive rights organization, claiming that she was discriminated against while working in the company’s New York office.
According to The New York Times, the lawsuit is but the latest claim of racism against the organization, which has publicly acknowledged that many of its Black employees have complained of prejudice.
The plaintiff, Nicole Moore—an African-American woman who directed Planned Parenthood’s multicultural brand engagement efforts between 2020 and 2021—said that she was expected to work more than her White colleagues, was denied opportunities for advancement, and faced retaliation when she raised her concerns.
“I feel that I am being discriminated against as a result of me speaking up and speaking out about biased practices and inequity,” Moore wrote in an email addressed to her supervisors and to Planned Parenthood’s human resources department. “For asking questions about what seems to be a lack of equity and inclusion, I am being unfairly punished and accused of undermining senior leadership.”
Moore also claims that she was “berated” and “publicly humiliated” in front of her colleagues by a Planned Parenthood supervisor.
In general, Moore says that her division’s multicultural engagement efforts were “undervalued” and “understaffed.”
The lawsuit asserts that other employees had accused the same supervisor of having “racist” tendencies.
According to Moore, trying to negotiate Planned Parenthood’s supposedly racist practices left her feeling “overlooked, overworked, over-scrutinized, interrupted, dismissed, belittled, and abused by an openly hostile supervisor about whom many had complained about as racist.”
Moore, adds The Hill, suffered an anxiety attack in October of 2021, and was fired shortly after she returned to work.
“The barrage of mistreatment caused Moore to suffer a panic attack so severe that she spent a day in the hospital,” the lawsuit states. “After complaining to [human resources] that the disciplinary measures appeared to be retaliation for her complaints of racial inequality at the organization, she was summarily fired.”
Susan Manning, interim general counsel for Planned Parenthood, told The New York Times that the organization “strongly dispute[s] the plaintiff’s allegations and categorically deny her claims of discrimination.”
Planned Parenthood’s top priority for its staff, Manning said, “is building a culture of diversity across the organization to fulfill our mission of reproductive health for all.”
However, Moore maintains that she was admonished for questioning Planned Parenthood’s lack of diversity. Moore had, for instance, asked why no Black employees from her department had been promoted in 2021.
Similarly, Moore purportedly complained about how Black employees were assigned more work during “observances” such as Black Maternal Health Week and Pride Month than their White counterparts.
When Moore tried to broach the subject of such discrepancies with her superiors, she was told the accusations were “inappropriate.”