- Sasha Cuttler, a nurse working at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, alleges the medical institution has illegally retaliated against their whistleblowing.
- Cuttler has been an outspoken critic of the decision to rename the hospital after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and also raised issues internally about patient falls.
- The nurse alleges they were passed over for promotions as a result, and removed from leadership positions.
- Cuttler has filed a legal complaint to the US Department of Labour on Tuesday.
A nurse who has been an outspoken critic of a San Francisco hospital’s decision to rename itself in return for a $US75 million donation from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has accused the medical institution of illegally retaliating against them over it and other matters.
Sasha Cuttler, 58, on Tuesday filed a legal complaint against the Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, commonly referred to as just the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, where they have worked since on and off since 1987.
Cuttler, who uses gender neutral pronouns, has repeatedly cited a 2014 study in which Facebook manipulated some users’ emotions without their knowledge or consent as unethical and as raising concerns about the Facebook exec’s links to the hospital. Cuttler has been openly critical, both internally and in public, organising protests against the 34-year-old billionaire executive and talking to the media (including Business Insider).
The nurse alleges that the hospital has illegally retaliated against them, both because of their anti-Zuckerberg activism and because of work they conducted relating to patient falls at the hospital and their warnings that staffing changes could increase the number of falls.
Cuttler has now filed formal complaints with the California Labour Commissioner’s Office (CLCO) and the US Department of Labour’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), alleging unlawful whistleblower retaliation. Cuttler alleges they were passed over for promotion, removed from the hospital Institutional Review Board and the Falls Task Force leadership, and “[marginalized] and [ostracized] within the workplace.”
In a statement, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital spokesperson Brent Andrew said: “We were not informed of these complaints by the employee and have not been officially informed of these complaints by the agencies contacted and, therefore, have not seen them. Pending a thorough review, we will have no statement on the substance of these claims.
“ZSFG follows all applicable federal, state and local labour laws and does not retaliate against employees under any circumstances. We will cooperate fully with all investigations into this matter.”
The retaliation has “caused [Cuttler] to suffer from anxiety and depression, insomnia, and other stress-related conditions,” the complaint alleges, and it seeks damages from the hospital.
Zuckerberg’s name is causing increasing headaches for the California hospital. San Francisco politician Aaron Peskin is pushing for it to be removed entirely in response to the social media company’s recent string of scandals.
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