A jury has awarded two female nurses $2.8 million in their wrongful termination lawsuit against Community Hospital of Long Beach, where they say a gay male head nurse created a hostile work environment by “flaunting” his homosexuality, giving preferential treatment to other gay male nurses, and generally exhibiting disdain for women, The Pride LA reports.
The jury also awarded $165,175 to the son of a third plaintiff, a nursing assistant who died before the case went to trial.
Attorneys for the hospital argued that the plaintiffs had been fired for putting a patient in restraints without a doctor’s orders and attempting to cover up their actions during a resulting investigation.
But the jury found evidence of sexual harassment, discrimination, failure to prevent harassment and discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, defamation, and negligent supervision.
And because it also found that the nurses were subject to malice or oppression, a second phase of the trial will begin Monday to consider awarding punitive damages.
The Pride LA was unable to reach the head nurse named in the suit, Keith Kohl, for comment.