A sign-on bonus from a job is always a win. However, for one Black Houston doctor, her moment of victory was swiftly taken away due to discriminatory practices.

ABC13 reports that Dr. Malika Mitchell-Stewart had recently completed her residency before securing a position at Valley Oaks Medical Group. The Black Houston doctor was subsequently awarded a $16,000 check from her newly acquired position.

Dr. Malika Mitchell-Stewart then went to JPMorgan Chase Bank at First Colony Branch in Sugar Land to deposit her new earnings.

Unfortunately, her celebration was cut short.

According to a lawsuit, staff members at JPMorgan Chase began to ask Dr. Malika Mitchell-Stewart unwarranted questions pertaining to her check and position as a doctor, ABC13 reports. Dr. Stewart describes feeling like a criminal after showing her check. JPMorgan Chase ultimately led with a decision to refuse Dr. Stewart’s service and declared the check fraudulent. Stewart believes she was targeted due to the color of her skin.

“It was an unfortunate situation. They took my special moment away. I felt like a criminal. I’ve never done anything wrong,” said Dr. Mitchell-Stewart, according to ABC13. “In order to get a Texas medical license or a medical license at all, you have to have a clean record. You have to go to school for so many years, and they just didn’t care. They didn’t respect that. They didn’t respect my credentials.”

“Dr. Mitchell-Stewart showed proof of identification. She showed proof that she was a doctor by presenting a business card. She even called employees from her medical group to confirm who she was,” added attorney Justin Moore, according to ABC13.

Chase Bank Plans To Investigate Claims

Chase Bank officials have since released a statement following the incident. 

“We take this matter very seriously, and are investigating the situation. We have reached out to Dr. Mitchell-Stewart to better understand what happened and apologize for her experience,” Chase Bank officials said, according to ABC13.