A doctor who is white and a black doctor who are both white will face off for the same job at the same medical center in a legal battle that could potentially create an unprecedented wave of racial discrimination.
The lawsuit filed in federal court on Tuesday alleges that a white physician was fired for allegedly racially profiling a black patient with colon cancer.
The New York Times reported the incident on Tuesday.
The suit claims the medical center discriminated against Black patients, according to the newspaper.
The medical center, which has more than 5,000 patients, employs more than 80 doctors.
The lawsuit claims that white doctors are paid significantly less than Black doctors and are often relegated to administrative roles that are not as demanding.
The complaint seeks a permanent injunction to force the hospital to make changes and to pay back $2.6 million to Black and Hispanic patients.
The American Medical Association, which represents more than 90 percent of the country’s physicians, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The White House and other government agencies have defended the medical centers.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which runs the centers, has said the centers offer quality care.
The hospital and the American Medical Group, which operates the centers nationwide, did do some things to address the racial disparity, said Elizabeth D’Amato, a spokeswoman for the hospital.
But it’s not enough, she said.