Did managers at DMC hospitals use codes to identify race of applicants?

Posted at 4:24 PM, Jun 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-02 16:24:12-04

Did managers at a Detroit hospital use secret codes to identify the race of people applying for jobs and promotions?

Some former workers at the Detroit Medical Center are suing and making the allegation. They say they have seen emails and other documents that they believe show they and other workers are victims of racism.

Friday some of those former workers and protesters with the National Action Network marched around Detroit Medical Center Properties chanting, “ Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Racism at DMC must go.“

They provided the media with copies of an affidavit. 

It says it was written by a woman who was the Executive Secretary for the Director of Security Operations for the Detroit Medical Center for three years. She said while she worked for the DMC she continuously heard a manager use numeric codes to identify applicants for positions by race.

She said in the affidavit she was told the number 3 is used to represent a white candidate, because if you rotate a 3 it resembles a “w”  The number 4 was used to represent a black candidate because if you rotate it, the number represents a “b”.

“I am not a code four,” said Darick Rushing, a former security employee at DMC, who happens to be black.

Rushing said he suspected he was being discriminated against while employed, and the affidavit reinforces his belief.

So what does DMC have to say?

It released a statement saying:

The Detroit Medical Center (DMC) values our security team and the exceptional service they provide our patients and employees every day.
DMC is an equal opportunity employer and we are proud of our diverse security staff and their proven track record of safety.
While we recognize the right of individuals to participate in peaceful protest, we encourage our team members to work directly with us by following the fair processes we have in place to address and mutually resolve concerns.
Our top priority has been and remains a commitment to ensuring the safety of our patients, staff and visitors.