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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



PRESS RELEASE
11-19-18

Alameda In-Home Senior Care Provider Settles EEOC Harassment Case

Agency Obtains  $340,000for Caregivers  Harassed Daily by 80-Year-Old Client

SAN FRANCISCO - Senior care provider R.  MacArthur Corp. (RMC) will pay $340,000 in damages for five former employees and  its successor, San Oak Caring Hands LLC, will implement measures to prevent  future harassment to settle a racial and sexual harassment lawsuit, the U.S.  Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.

According  to the EEOC's suit, caregivers employed by RMC, a franchisee of Home Instead  Senior Care, reported that an 80-year-old client in Alameda, Calif., repeatedly  groped them, offered lewd comments about their breasts and buttocks, and made  additional racially and sexually offensive comments while they were providing  in-home assistance. Although several care providers informed RMC of his  conduct, the EEOC asserted that the employer failed to act on these complaints  and also retaliated against one complaining caregiver, Rashon Sturdivant, by refusing  to place her in other available assignments.

 "I needed every dime  of my paycheck but it came to a point where I couldn't face being treated like  that anymore," said Sturdivant, who filed the charge bringing this case to the  EEOC. "I'm hoping this settlement will encourage other in-home caregivers to  realize that while we take care of people, we also deserve to be treated with  respect and dignity, and the laws protect us from harassment even when our  workplace is inside someone else's home."

Harassment based on sex and race, as well as retaliation against  employees who speak out against such conduct in the workplace, violate Title  VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District  Court for the Northern District of California (EEOC v. R. MacArthur Corp. / San  Oak Caring Hands LLC d/b/a/ Home Instead Senior Care, Civil Number  4:17-CV-04188-DMR) after an investigation by EEOC Investigator Krystal Clark  and Enforcement Supervisor Scott Doughtie and after first attempting to reach a  pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

Under  the five-year consent decree settling the suit, RMC will pay $340,000 to five  caregivers. San Oak Caring Hands, the entity that now owns and operates RMC's  Home Instead franchises, will institute thorough anti-harassment training and  policies that emphasize prevention, prompt correction and competent  investigation. San Oak will engage a consultant to review discrimination  matters and provide periodic reporting of its training, policies and complaint  investigation to the EEOC.

EEOC Senior Trial Attorney Linda Ordonio-Dixon  said, "It's important that we send a clear message that harassment is not part  of a caregiver's job description and that employers must do what they can to  prevent and correct any abuses, even if the workplace happens to be in a  client's home. In-home caregivers can be particularly vulnerable to  harassment, and one of the EEOC's top priorities is to defend vulnerable  workers against discrimination."

Emphasizing that San Oak was joined in the  suit as a successor, EEOC Regional Attorney Roberta Steele added, "We applaud  San Oak Caring Hands for implementing measures to prevent such harassment even  though the allegations that gave rise to this lawsuit occurred before it  purchased the business from RMC."

EEOC San Francisco District Director William  Tamayo noted, "According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, home health aides have been projected to  be the fourth-fastest growing occupation in the nation. In fact, California has  just passed legislation, AB 3082, ensuring that the state  Department of Social Services develop anti-harassment training and a method to  track cases of sexual harassment of in-home care providers."

Providing in-home care to seniors within  Alameda County, R. MacArthur Corp sold its Home Instead Senior Care franchises  to San Oak Caring Hands LLC in February 2018.

The  EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws  prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.  Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email  updates.