Gustilo v. Hennepin Healthcare System

On February 6, 2022, Dr. Tara Gustilo filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Hennepin Healthcare System, arising from its decision to demote her because her beliefs did not correspond with her skin color.


Dr. Gustilo is a Harvard-educated physician who, until recently, was the Chair of the OB/GYN department at HHS in Minneapolis. Her record at HHS is pristine. Under her leadership, the OB/GYN department had one of the highest patient satisfaction rates at HHS. Over the last decade, she created a successful program to reflect cultural differences in birthing practices, in order to better serve her diverse patients. But over time, her colleagues transformed that program into care that was segregated according to the patients’ racial classification.


Dr. Gustilo objected to that transformation. Believing in the vision and principles of Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement of the 1960s, she advocated for non-segregated care and disagreed with racial essentialism and concepts of “Critical Race Theory” on her personal social media. In response, her colleagues told her that she, as a woman of Filipino descent, was unqualified to lead because she did not hold the same race-essentialist views that they did. HHS then demoted Dr. Gustilo and removed her from her position as Chair of the OB/GYN department.


Dr. Gustilo filed a discrimination charge with the EEOC in 2021. She has now followed with a federal lawsuit, alleging violation of her civil and constitutional rights, including under the First Amendment.


Dr. Gustilo is represented by FAIR network attorney Daniel Cragg of Eckland & Blando.


Read Dr. Gustilo’s federal complaint in its entirety below.


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