The First Latina/Hispanic, renowned surgeon and female chair of surgery files a lawsuit against the University of Miami Health System for discrimination and retaliation
Dr. Omaida C. Velazquez is a leading academic surgeon and has been surgeon-in-chief of the Health System’s Department of surgery Chair since 2015. She filed a lawsuit against UM (the University of Miami), her employer, alleging UM discriminated against her due to her race, national origin, and gender.
She also alleges her employer retaliated after she reported several health and safety violations in UHealth hospitals and complained about racial and gender discrimination. Get all the facts about the lawsuit in this news.
UHealth allegedly violates several health and safety and employment regulations
According to Dr. Valazquez, UHealth hospitals and UM has a history of repeated safety violations. The University of Miami Health System defendants also threatened to withhold and restrict her medical credentials and reduce her compensation after she complained about discrimination. They also revoked her title and role as Surgeon-in-Chief and Department Chair in retaliation.
Her case is being represented by national civil rights law firm Sanford Heisler Sharp besides Angeli Murthy – a local counsel of Morgan & Morgan.
Dr. Velazquez’s story is a true American dream
Born in Cuba and moved to the United States in 1980 on Mariel boatlift when she was 13, the young Velazquez couldn’t speak English. Yet, it didn’t keep her from graduating in the top ten of her class in high school as well as excelling in college.
She graduated with the highest GPA and multiple awards from the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Being the first female vascular surgeon at the University of Pennsylvania, and received the Distinguished Graduate Award in the Department of Surgery.
These are only some of her top accomplishments in the medical field. She is considered a role model and pioneer leader. Despite her contribution to the University of Miami Health System and its community, she has been subjected to dispiriting retaliation and discrimination.
The support has been overwhelming
Though she has faced soul-crushing discrimination and retaliation from her employer, she has received overwhelming support and trust from the University of Miami Health System community. She is positive that this lawsuit will set an example for the Miami community, especially women in the medical field.
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