UC Regents to pay $1.5M in hostile work environment case

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles jury has ordered the University of California Board of Regents to pay $1.58 million to a woman who alleged co-workers made harassing and racially charged comments.

The verdict was announced Tuesday by lawyers for Nicole Birden, who worked as a phlebotomist at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica.

Birden, who is African American, claimed her colleagues created a hostile work environment by using racial slurs, making disparaging remarks about her skin color and tampering with blood specimens that Birden had drawn.

UCLA Health says it’s disappointed by the verdict and considering all available options. The statement says UCLA is committed to maintaining a workplace free from discrimination and harassment.

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