U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Management Officials Engaged in Race-Based Assignments, Agency Charged
BALTIMORE -- Hi Care, Inc., doing business as Home Instead Senior Care, will pay $150,000 and furnish other relief to settle a race discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
In its lawsuit, Civil Action No. 1:10-cv-02692-WMN, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Maryland the EEOC charged that since at least October 2007, Hi Care illegally engaged in a pattern and practice of race-based assignments of its caregiving employees. The EEOC said that Hi Care employed racial coding to identify clients who preferred Caucasian caregivers as “circle dots,” and catered to the racial preferences of its clients at its Arnold and Ellicott City, Md., offices.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal for employers to make decisions about job assignments based on an employee’s race. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.
In addition to the monetary settlement, Hi Care is enjoined from any further practice which permits its customers or clients to dictate the assignment of caregivers based on the customer’s racial preference. Additionally, Hi Care agrees to monitoring by the EEOC; to annually train all current and newly hired recruiters and human resources personnel; implement a policy prohibiting race-based assignments; and post notices affirming the company’s commitment to maintaining an environment free of race discrimination.
“We believe that by entering into this consent decree, Hi Care is expressing its determination to prevent future race-based assignments and discrimination,” said Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence. “We brought this lawsuit to remind employers that race-based decision making has no place in the modern workplace.”
According to its website (www.homeinstead.com), Omaha, Neb.-based Home Instead Senior Care is an international leader in non-medical senior care, with more than 800 independently owned and operated franchises throughout the world.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the Commission is available on its web site (www.eeoc.gov).