Nursing Home Subjected Black Employees to Harassment and Made Race-Based Job Assignments, Federal Agency Charges
INDIANAPOLIS - An Evansville nursing home violated federal law when it acceded to its residents' preferences for non-black caregivers when making job assignments and subjected its black employees to racial harassment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a suit filed today. The named defendants are the Village at Hamilton Pointe, LLC, dba Hamilton Pointe Health and Rehabilitation Center; Hamilton Pointe Assisted Living Center; and The Cottages at Hamilton Pointe and its management company, Tender Loving Care Management, Inc., dba TLC Management.
According to the EEOC's complaint, Hamilton Pointe and TLC Management prohibit black employees from entering certain resident rooms based upon some residents' preference for non-black caregivers.
The defendants also subjected black employees to racial harassment. The EEOC's pre-suit administrative investigation revealed that the African-American employees were called and/or referred to by terms such as "nigger," "boy," and "nappy."
The EEOC brought the suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating against any individual "with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's race..." It is illegal for employers to subject employees to racial harassment and to base employment decisions on discriminatory preferences of customers.
The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The case, (EEOC v. The Village at Hamilton Pointe, LLC, dba Hamilton Pointe Health and Rehabilitation Center; Hamilton Pointe Assisted Living Center; and The Cottages at Hamilton Pointe; and Tender Loving Care Management, Inc., dba TLC Management, Civil Action No. 3:17-cv-00147) was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division on September 19, 2017.
"It is difficult to comprehend that 50 years have elapsed since the adoption of the Civil Rights Act, and employers still do not understand that it is unacceptable to honor the discriminatory racial preferences of some or any of their customers," said Kenneth Lee Bird, regional attorney of the Indianapolis District Office. "When this practice is coupled with racial harassment, it's even worse. The EEOC will continue to take all the necessary steps to vigorously challenge these unlawful practices."
According to company information, The Village at Hamilton Pointe, LLC, dba Hamilton Pointe Health and Rehabilitation Center; Hamilton Pointe Assisted Living Center; and The Cottages at Hamilton Pointe, is a 24-hour, residential, skilled nursing health facility with over 200 employees. Tender Loving Care Management, Inc., dba TLC Management, is a family-owned business located in Marion, Ind. It provides management and financial services to The Village at Hamilton Pointe, LLC and several other nursing homes in Indiana and Florida.
The EEOC's Indianapolis District Office is responsible for processing discrimination charges, administrative enforcement, and the conduct of agency litigation in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and western Ohio, with Area Offices in Louisville, Cincinnati, and Detroit.