Christine Hayes, deputy general counsel for the Public Health Commission, filed suit against the commission and Barbara Ferrer, executive director for the organization. In her claim, Hayes, who has been working for the commission since 2003, explained how she applied for the position of general counsel around August of 2008. The position required at least five years of civil litigation experience, preferably in public health or healthcare.
Seven white attorneys, including Hayes, and three black attorneys, were interviewed for the position. According to Hayes, she has extensive civil litigation experience from previous work at a private law firm, as well as management experience from working in the Navy. Nakisha Skinner, a black woman who had been an attorney for less than five years, was hired over Hayes. Hayes alleges that Skinner did not even meet the minimum requirements for the position, and was wrongfully chosen based on her race.
In her lawsuit, Hayes requests that the federal court order her promotion to the position of general counsel, along with lost wages and benefits, unspecified punitive damages, emotional distress and attorney’s fees.
Before filing her Last Vegas lawsuit, Hayes filed a discrimination complaint with the Last Vegas Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD). The MCAD dismissed her case for lack of probable cause.
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