Parkland's IT Department Is Run by a Racist, Sexist "Redneck Country Club," Former Employees Say

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After spending two years on the brink of shutting down, Parkland Hospital has turned a corner. Things are far from perfect, but the federal government is reasonably confidant that Parkland won't kill you.

That's the medical side of things. According to a trio of nearly identical wrongful termination lawsuits filed on Monday, the IT department remains a mess.

Mark Holloway, an African American network engineer, and Israel Benitez, a Hispanic webmaster, both say they were discriminated against based on their ethnicity.

Holloway's claim says that in 2008, after two decades with Parkland, he was reclassified as a contract employee. Though multiple white colleagues were ultimately re-employed by Parkland, thus giving them access to promotions and pay raises, Hollloway was not.

See also: The Feds Are Pretty Sure Parkland Hospital Won't Kill You Now

Benitez says he was unfairly denied a promotion to a group-leader position in February 2012.

Both men filed complaints with supervisors. Holloway was fired in August, Benitez in July. Brandon Abbott, an IT employee who worked under Benitez (the suit does not mention his race), filed the third suit alleging that he was also fired for reporting the discrimination he witnessed.

The fired workers say such treatment was par for the course in Parkland's IT department, which they say was run by a cabal of white senior managers who referred to themselves the "Redneck Country Club" while placing minority employees on "Team Brown."

Among the other phrases that were tossed about: "coconuts," "spics," and "fucking
brown people," in reference to Hispanics; "queen bitch," "fucking cunt," "bitches," and "God-damned women" in reference to female employees; "terroristic" to non-Americans; and "brown baby factory" in reference to Parkland.

See also: Two More Dallas County Maintenance Workers Say Their Boss is a Racist Asshole

The suit says that one senior manager was fired in January 2013, and later reinstated, for referring to President Barack Obama as a "fucking nigger."

We've asked Parkland for a response to the allegations as well as for documents related to that senior manager's termination and an investigation the suit says was conducted by Parkland's police force in December 2012.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.


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53 comments
wayne_kirkwood
wayne_kirkwood

One of the tools Parkland Hospital has in its toolbox for Discrimination, Retaliation and Constructive Discharge is the downward modification of favorable performance evaluations. The allegations include:

“Plaintiff [Brandon Abbott] was subjected in 2011 and 2012, by Greenslade, to downward modification of favorable performance evalautions by Benitez, over Benitez' objection, and also denial of raises over the objection of Benitez...”

See:  http://www.scribd.com/doc/204790846/Abbott-v-Parkland-Hospital-Alleged-Retaliation-by-Downward-Modification-of-Evaluations

Parkland's legal Counsel, Paul Leslie, Compliance, HR and Audit have been aware of this practice since at least December 2011.

See: http://www.scribd.com/doc/204800868/Parkland-Hospital-Retaliation-by-Downward-Modification-of-Reviews-Letter-to-Legal-December-2011

More documents may be found here:  http://www.scribd.com/collections/4428523/Parkland-Hospital-Information-Technology

wayne_kirkwood
wayne_kirkwood

For the record Mr. Nekuza managed my wife for a period of time and was a good manager. He left her alone and accommodated her disability without question. He respected her.


Mr. Carpenter also manages my wife and attempted to both accommodate her disability and to recently promote her. Her accommodation request was interfered with by Human Resources, not Mr. Carpenter. HR made Ms. Kirkwood miserable from 2010 until 2013. In early September 2013 Mr. Carpenter promoted Ms. Kirkwood and she served in a limited capacity in her new position for approximately six days until the decision was reversed by Mr. Jim Saul and Mr. Fernando Martinez. This gave rise to a Compliance and Ethics Compliant against Mr. Saul and Fernandez, not Mr. Carpenter. During her tenure from 2010 until the present there have been numerous attempts of Constructive Discharge from someone in IT management and/or HR.


Ms. Kirkwood currently has an EEOC charge which is being investigated.

AlanGreenslade
AlanGreenslade

There are 9 former employees and 1 still working at Patkland who filled EEOC charges against the Red Neck Country Club. This is just the beginning of the story. There will be additional charges to come.

All the employees in the charges with the exception of James Carpenter and Jeff Nekuza have been terminated, resigned and asked to leave Parkland. Parkland is trying to do the right thing by cleaning this mess but unfortunately many people have had their careers ruined.

The most sad part of this whole story is a former employee by the name of Steven Shaw. He worked at Parkland for many years and was planning to retire there but was terminated because the RNCC didn't like him. Later, he was killed and unfortunately will not be around to see justice served to Parkland for allowing this all to happen.

Fraudland
Fraudland

The scandals at Parkland never seem to end. If they are not living up to their nicknames, like the "Parkland Orgy of Death," or the "Parkland House of Horrors," then they are just the "Parkland Bunch of Retards."

hillbillybob72
hillbillybob72

It's a shame what Dallas Oberserver is willing to print.  One persons rants and claims; facts do not make. 

GAA214
GAA214

Rednecks in Texas? You don't say. 

2DollaHolla
2DollaHolla

Last time I was at Parkland dropping off some Obama figurines that was place super ghetto I noticed... no way would I wanna work there

wayne_kirkwood
wayne_kirkwood

On October 18, 2013 I contacted Parkland's Mary Findley, Chief Compliance Officer, Paul Leslie, Chief Counsel and the interim CEO informing them that employees Brandon Abbott and Israel Benitez were targets for termination due to retaliation. On October 29, 2013 I informed the same individuals that the aforementioned employees had been terminated earlier that day. Neither Ms. Findley nor Mr. Leslie made any attempt to reverse their termination. These two Parkland Officers have not only subjected the Dallas County Taxpayer to unnecessary litigation, but it is my belief they have knowingly and willingly allowed the anti-retaliation provisions of the Corporate Integrity Agreement to be violated.


You may read the cases here:


http://www.scribd.com/doc/203546366/Benitez-v-Parkland-Hospital-Dallas-County-Civil-DC-14-00791


http://www.scribd.com/doc/203546370/Holloway-v-Parkland-Hospital-Dallas-County-Civil-DC-14-00792

http://www.scribd.com/doc/203546361/Abbott-v-Parkland-Hospital-Dallas-County-Civil-DC-14-00790


bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

Racist, right-wing rednecks are not just a problem at Parkland.  It's a problem throughout Dallas's IT community.

It's why so many businesses here outsource their IT to foreign corporations.

xmantx
xmantx

Healthcare IT is lost in the dark ages in every way possible - systems are archaic

tdkisok
tdkisok

Half of Texas is by a "Redneck Country Club". 

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

It's IT.  If you want to know what an IT department sounds like, go hang out in youtube comments for a while.

casiepierce
casiepierce

Not surprised. In October and then earlier this month, my mother was in Parkland. They kept urging her to get a "My Chart" account, presumably because they would rather you do that then call up to the hospital and pester the doctors with irritating questions like, "How's my other today? What new drugs are you giving her?"

They gave her a username and a temporary password to login and seven days to activate the account. I tried several times to no avail, then I sent an email in the "contact us" window (which stated that emails will be answered within 24 hours). In it, I mentioned that the IT department has serious problems if they can't do something this impossibly simple. My email was returned in four days, with a different temporary password, and a lecture about how I was doing it wrong, rather than an apology for the inconvenience/long wait.


Again, the site would not let me use that stupid password so we went again. Third try was a char. Two days ago I looked at her medical records and they partially entered some of the labs from October. She is currently in Medical City and they only have some parts of her medical history there. Yeah, it sounds like a total "Redneck Country Club" over there when they can't DO THEIR FRIGGING JOBS!!!

nospam15
nospam15

Are you one Alan ? Why did you leave. Whoever you are, are you implying you are part if the "RNCC"?

nospam15
nospam15

This his NOT ALAN GREENSLADE. Stephen was let go for surfing on inappropriate pornographic websites and he people sited in this article; their not being hired or what have you have NOTHING to do with racism. Israel was there "working from home" so he could collect more than one paycheck. These accusations are ridiculous. I know James carpenter and he is not a racist. He is a good man and now his name is being dragged through the mud and he doesn't even manage that part of IT! This poster is NOT ALAN GREENSLADE even though we were all sad to see him go, this is someone imposing themselves falsely.

wayne_kirkwood
wayne_kirkwood

I would also add that Mr. Benitez and Mr. Abbott were potential witnesses in an ongoing Compliance investigation that they were unaware of. Rather than maintain the integrity of the investigation process, Parkland terminated the witnesses.

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

Yeah, white Texans would never give white Texans their business.

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

Good think the Feds upgraded and integrated it all in preparation for new laws.

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

The other half is a taqueria.

lebowski300
lebowski300

@everlastingphelps "It's IT" ...Perhaps it's time for you to get out of the small fishbowl you make your frequent flippant judgements from? This is most certainly not the IT departments I've known my entire career.

prestidigination
prestidigination

@everlastingphelps 

If that's your experience with IT departments,  you need to find new IT people.
I headed a hospital IT department that was 75% female and 25% minority. The kind of things mentioned in this article would have never happened on my watch. It's unprofessional and should not be tolerated. 
This comes down the the tone set by senior management. 

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@casiepierce

The ironic part of that story is that the IT department was so inept, they had to pay a third party to do their jobs for them.

jordanvdavis
jordanvdavis

Every hospital in the country is incentivized (and will later be penalized for failing to do so) for enrolling their patients into a patient portal to view their electronic health record.  All part of the Affordable Care Act.  And yes, some of the rationale for it stems from reducing interruptions in the workflow of physicians and nurses; however, much of it is their to save YOU time.  How many different doctors and nurses would you have to call to get the full picture of your mother's health?  If you and every other patient or family member calls, then they wouldn't be caring for very many patients. Further, the portal you reference, MyChart, is a product purchased and part of the main electronic health record used for inpatient and outpatient visits at Parkland.  It's function, or lack thereof, could equally be blamed on the software vendor, not just the IT staff.

I also fail to see the connection to a "Redneck Country Club" in your comment.  Your challenges with the portal hardly sound like evidence of a racist IT department.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@casiepierce I dunno.  Baylor keeps excellent records.  I can go into my chart online going back several years.  Much more efficient than playing phone tag with an over-worked, stressed out nurse.

nospam15
nospam15

He was killed in a accident overseas. Not even sure why his name was dropped. His death had zero to do with anyone at parkland and we were all very upset to hear of it

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

There's senior IT, and there's everything else below. It's a grind peopled by kids from the tech schools in a lot of bigger companies.

I hired a few, they were actually really terrific. But it's not in any way a glam job.

Did you see what I did there?

casiepierce
casiepierce

@jordanvdavis Did I say "racist"? No. To me, a country club environment implies a place where, instead of actually working, much more goofing off happens instead. And please, c'mon, it's Parkland, need I say more?

casiepierce
casiepierce

@Myrna.Minkoff-KatzThat's great, hooray for Baylor, but somebody has to actually PUT the information into mychart for it to be useful.

prestidigination
prestidigination

Obviously you can't speak to any type of IT department. Lancaster Medical (I only mention the name since it is no longer in operation) had an IT dept of 4. Me, the director and a white male. The staff consisted of 2 women, one black and one white. There was also another white male whom I fired for incompetence. I replaced him with a white female since she was the most skilled applicant. That's 75% female and 25% minority. It was a department marked by skill and original thinking. Managing those amazing women was an honor. Not that you would know anything about honor.

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

Got it.

75% female

25% minority

25% male

75% white.

Makes sense now!

Zodan
Zodan

@ruddski If you read that properly, it means that 3/4's of the staff were female.  It also means that 1/4 of the staff happened to be minorities which leaves a 1/4 of the staff were male and 3/4 of the staff were white (which includes both males and females).

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

@hentai.jeff

"... that was 75% female and 25% minority..."

I assume you weren't being precise.

hentai.jeff
hentai.jeff

@ruddskiWhere did you read from that that there's not a single white male in the department?

hentai.jeff
hentai.jeff

@everlastingphelps@prestidiginationAs someone working in IT, on an overnight shift with 5 others sharing it, 2 black co-workers, 1 black manager, 1 Hispanic female manager (I have 8 accounts I work, the managers split the accounts during daytime shifts and about a 50-50 split on both women and minorities, I can tell you IT departments like @prestidiginationdescribes are most certainly not imaginary.

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

Not a single white male in that department. That's what the left would call "diversified".

nospam15
nospam15

Yes and yours are meaningless. Cheers. I will not comment again either. Much luck.

casiepierce
casiepierce

@nospam15 Okay then, YOU. How about you? And why you're so butthurt about this article. Nospam15 loves to hide behind internet anonymity, so why am I even bothering with scrolling three pages of articles to respond to your insipid posts?  Just, go away.

nospam15
nospam15

Weeeeee. Lots of fun. My chart has nothing to do with this department, PERIOD. FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT!

I_b2
I_b2

@hentai.jeff @jordanvdavis  really guys  would be nice if the observer reported that all of this has been investigated and nothing was found to be the truth.  Sounds like bitter people who are using the color of their skin to justify their inabilties.

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