Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) January 20, 2005
A suit naming the Governor of the State of California, CaliforniaÂs State Treasurer, Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles (PPLA), and others, was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court Tuesday afternoon (Andrew Jones v. Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles, et al., LASC Case No. BC327377). The blockbuster suit was filed by Andrew Jones, the former Project Manager of the Community Services/Education Department of PPLA. Mr. Jones worked for PPLA for several years and is African-American.
The verified complaint seeks recovery for unlawful termination, racial and sexual harassment, and a failure to pay overtime. JonesÂ suit alleges that PPLA regularly allowed overt racism and sexism to infect its facilities in early 2004. Among other serious allegations, it is alleged that PPLA did nothing when one of its employees was referred to as a Ânigger.Â Additionally, the suit, filed under penalty of perjury, alleges that PPLA consistently portrayed African-American males as being irresponsible and that male employees were regularly referred to as ÂdickheadsÂ and other offensive terms by the white female management.
Sworn affidavits by other female PPLA staff, supporting the allegations of the complaint, were also filed Tuesday. One swore, ÂThere was a sense that any employee who was not a white female was going to be carefully watched. . . . [T]here was a strong anti-male bias at PPLA.Â Another affidavit refers to, Âa significant anti-male bias.Â Attorneys for Jones indicate that this is just one of several upcoming suits by high level PPLA employees who were fired for whistle-blowing or complaining of racism.
JonesÂ lawsuit also seeks an immediate court order requiring the Governor of the State of California, the State Treasurer, and the Director of CaliforniaÂs Health & Human Services Agency to stop funding PPLA due to its racist practices and failure to disclose serious failures in its accounting systems and qualifications for state funding. In part, Plaintiff relies on a late-2003 single audit finding by the certified public accounting firm of RBZ LLC that PPLA Âdid not comply with requirements regarding reporting that are applicable to its Family Planning Services program.Â
Additionally, the complaint alleges that it was only after Jones questioned the financial practices of PPLA that he was fired. According to the complaint, he was given a stellar employee review right before his termination. Pursuant to California law, contractors/grantees/recipients such as PPLA are to refrain from discrimination in order to qualify for taxpayer-funded programs. PPLA is subject to rigorous reporting requirements and must be able to demonstrate financial viability on state loan programs. The suit alleges that PPLA failed, and continues to fail, on all fronts. In May 2004, Plaintiff Âplaced Defendant PPLA on notice of Âaccounting miscues, angry patients, and disgruntled gatekeepers,Â according to the complaint.
According to Richard D. Ackerman, JonesÂ lead attorney, ÂThe State of California simply cannot afford to continue funding PPLAÂs programs, especially when California is looking at cutting funding to school children, teachers, emergency health care, and other areas that are far more important than PPLAÂs elective activities. There are plenty of other agencies that can offer the same services as PPLA without misrepresenting their financial condition, and without engaging in racism and sexism in the workplace. This is no time to be giving special interests such as PPLA preferential treatment over those that legitimately need money, do not engage in discriminatory practices, and are honest about their financial condition.Â
Finally, the suit makes mention of the fact that PPLA concocted a scheme to place an abortion facility in South Central Los Angeles without being honest about its purpose. It is alleged that Jones and other employees were instructed to market the facility to the African-American community as being a non-abortion facility. It appears that PPLA was well aware of the fact that LA African-Americans do not want their unborn children eliminated by abortion, and knew that they could not get community support if they came into town promoting a depletion of the LA African-American communityÂs future generations. The complaint alleges, ÂPlaintiff refused to engage in PPLA promotional practices that were intended to deceive the African-American community in South Los Angeles . . . Plaintiff, an African-American, was not comfortable being forced to misrepresent facts to other similarly situated persons.Â
Ackerman summed up this case by saying, ÂThis is the beginning of a new era of accountability for CaliforniaÂs special interests. Unscrupulous organizations cannot come to the trough expecting to be fed if they are not willing to abide by the same laws that govern legitimately needy organizations. PPLA, unlike California schools, teachers, hospitals, and state clinics, is supported by generous financial contributions from Hollywood celebrities, wealthy corporations, and huge estates. I sincerely hope that Angelides and Schwarzenegger will protect the public in these dire financial times. This is no time for political agendas to get in the way of protecting taxpayers from waste and fraud. I might also point out that racism and sexism, in any form, are unacceptable in a civilized society. Given Planned ParenthoodÂs rampant promotion of diversity and tolerance, I think it would be best if they demonstrated some necessary integrity by voluntarily abstaining from taxpayer funding.Â