Former UNMH nurse sues hospital for work discrimination

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A woman came to New Mexico for big opportunities, making it her goal to be a nurse at UNM Hospital. However, she says her dream job quickly turned into a nightmare and now she is suing them for discrimination.

Mercedes Kern made a career out of helping people, but when it was her time in need, she says no one was there to help her.

Donald Gilpin is an attorney and says his client, Mercedes Kern, came from Spain and in 2013, began working as a nurse at UNM Hospital.

On top of being new to the United States, Gilpin says Kern also suffers from PTSD from her childhood in Spain.

Due to those factors, he says Kern started to get bullied by her co-workers.

“When she got here, she started experiencing being treated differently. One, because of her Spanish speaking and because of her accent,” said Gilpin.

Now as a result of the discrimination, Kern is suing the hospital and the UNM’s Board of Regents.

Gilpin says when Kern went to HR about her concerns about the way she was being treated, the staff ignored her complaints.

According to the lawsuit, instead of helping, the HR Director told Kern that she should start looking for another job.

Gilpin says the harassment was so bad for Kern, she was afraid and discouraged from coming into work every day.

KRQE News 13 reached out to UNM Hospital for comment and was told they do not comment on pending litigations.

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