Henry Schein, Inc., One of America’s Largest Healthcare Product Distributors, Sued in California Superior Court for Wrongful Termination, Retaliation After Racist Mockery of Asian American Female Dentist
Mar 20, 2021
San Mateo, CA (Law Firm Newswire) March 20, 2021 – Sanjiv N. Singh, a Professional Law Corporation, with co-counsel Indrajana Law Group, a Professional Law Corporation, have filed suit in Alameda County against Henry Schein, Inc., one of the world’s leading healthcare product distributors.
The lawsuit alleges wrongful termination in connection with a longstanding employee’s Asian American wife who was denigrated on the basis of her Asian heritage and objectified on the basis of her gender without any intervention or appropriate action by Henry Schein. The lawsuit specifically alleges that Henry Schein maliciously and repeatedly retaliated against her husband after he reported the incidents. The case sheds light on the historic disregard and trivialization of anti-Asian discrimination, and is particularly timely in view of the wave of Asian hate crimes across the United States and the murder last week of six Asian American women in Georgia.
The lawsuit filed against Henry Schein is pending case number assignment in Alameda County in Northern California. The Bay Area has a large percentage of professional Asian Americans who work and live in its cities and suburbs, and is also the home to some of the top dental schools in the country including UCSF and University of the Pacific.
In the lawsuit, a long standing employee of Henry Schein alleges that his wife, a well known and respected Asian American dentist and also a customer of Henry Schein, was denigrated by a top earning Henry Schein sales representative. The complaint specifically alleges that the Henry Schein representative on more than one occasion referred to the employee’s Asian American wife as “sushi.” When the Henry Schein employee attempted to stop the sales representative and reported the conduct, the complaint alleges that Henry Schein retaliated, ultimately resulting in conditions which forced the resignation of the employee. The complaint further alleges that the employee who used the offensive epithet was not only allowed to work after the outrageous misconduct was reported, but was also allowed to wage a campaign of false statements about the employee who reported her.
According to the complaint, until legal action was initiated, it appeared that Henry Schein’s own management was ignorant of the matter and had not investigated it at all. Although the sales representative reportedly admitted to the conduct, the complaint alleges that Henry Schein failed to take action and even went so far as to trivialize it as an “inside joke.”
Shockingly, when the employee’s wife contacted Henry Schein herself about the incident, the complaint alleges that a high level regional manager of Henry Schein literally hung up on her. Another former employee of Henry Schein witnessed first hand the offensive gender and racial stereotyping comparing the Asian female dentist to “sushi” and said, “It was truly disgusting and stunned everyone on the call.”
Sanjiv Singh, lead trial counsel for plaintiff, said, “This case should be heard by a Bay Area jury. It is mind boggling that Henry Schein would think this was okay. They make money from numerous Asian American dentists and their customers, but the complaint suggests they simply allowed abhorrent racial stereotyping and gender objectification of an accomplished Asian American medical professional, and then retaliated when the misconduct was brought to their attention.”
To date, Henry Schein has not apologized to the plaintiff or his wife (who is their customer) or taken any real responsibility for the incidents. Meanwhile, nationally, there is a rapidly growing movement demanding accountability from large corporations like Henry Schein.
Singh notes, “Retaliating against someone for reporting racism is the moral equivalent of racism itself. Money and power, whether wielded by corporations or celebrities or universities or governments, cannot shield racism and hate crimes. This is not cancel culture. This is long overdue accountability.”
Sanjiv N. Singh, APLC and Indrajana Law Group, APLC are full-service litigation firms located in San Mateo, California focusing on catastrophic injury, corporate malfeasance, and complex civil litigation. Mr. Singh most recently settled multiple wrongful death cases brought by Indonesian families against The Boeing Company in connection with the 2018 crash of Lion Air Flight JT610, settled the high profile lawsuit Vargas v. Level 10 et al. brought by Latino iron worker Jose Luis Delgado who died tragically at the Apple Campus in Sunnyvale, and settled the double child fatality of two African American children in Hickman et al. v. County of Los Angeles et al. in connection with the well publicized criticism of Los Angeles’ unstable and scandal-plagued child welfare system.
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