Second Race Discrimination Lawsuit Filed against Planned Parenthood

default author image02.24.2023

NASHVILLE, TN – Crumiller is proud to represent Anna Flores, a Latina woman and community organizer who was unlawfully fired by Planned Parenthood for raising complaints of racist conduct by the organization’s leadership, as alleged in a federal lawsuit filed in the Middle District of Tennessee.

Flores’s lawsuit is the second filed by Crumiller alleging a pattern of race-based misconduct at Planned Parenthood. In October 2022, Nicole Moore, Planned Parenthood’s former Director of Multicultural Brand Engagement, made national headlines when she filed a lawsuit claiming she was terminated for protesting a broad range of race-based misconduct in the workplace.

In the new lawsuit, Flores says she complained about several incidents that created hostile working conditions for employees of color at her local affiliate, Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi (PPTNM), for example:

  • PPTNM’s VP of External Affairs, Aimee Lewis, was fixated on finding a Latinx person to serve on the organization’s board regardless of the individual’s qualifications.
  • PPTNM’s President and CEO, Ashley Coffield, sent a disturbing staff-wide email mocking a houseless man struggling with addiction who was arrested for burglarizing a Knoxville clinic. Several employees wrote a letter to leadership explaining that this email was inappropriate and dehumanizing, and made them feel unsafe given the negative interactions people of color often have with the police, but no meaningful action was taken.
  • PPTNM passed over multiple employees of color for promotion to a newly created Director of Communications role, instead hiring a white woman who trafficked in racist tropes and habitually blamed employees of color for her own poor performance.
  • In PPTNM’s marketing materials, this Director attempted to compare Texas’s Senate Bill 8 to the Fugitive Slave Act and include a photo of a “slave catcher,” which several employees complained was racially insensitive.
  • PPTNM employees were forced to participate in a “retreat” in which the organization’s leadership openly argued with employees of color about their complaints of racism.

Statement from Travis Pierre-Louis, attorney for Anna Flores:

“Planned Parenthood not only provides health care services to millions of patients each year but also employs thousands of people around the country. The organization can no longer tout its support of marginalized communities while turning a blind eye to the rampant race-based employment discrimination in its own backyard. We’re proud of Anna for standing up for herself and hope this lawsuit inspires more Planned Parenthood employees to stop accepting inequitable working conditions simply because of the organization’s outsized influence in the reproductive health care field.”

Read the complaint:

Crumiller is a feminist litigation firm that fights discrimination and sexual abuse in the workplace, healthcare and beyond.