EEOC Says Management Officials Engaged in Race-Based Assignments
BALTIMORE - Hi Care, Inc. d/b/a Home Instead Senior Care, which provides home care services for seniors in Anne Arundel and Howard counties illegally engaged in a pattern and practice of race-based assignments of its caregiver employees, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a lawsuit filed today.
In its suit, the EEOC charges that since at least October 2007, Hi Care employed racial coding to identify clients who preferred Caucasians caregivers as “circle dots,” and relied upon such racial coding when assigning caregivers to work. The EEOC asserts that Hi Care catered to the racial preferences of its clients at its Arnold and Ellicott City, Md. offices.
Such alleged practices violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed the case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Northern Division (Civil Action No. 1:1-cv-02692-WMN), after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. In addition to monetary relief which represents back pay, compensatory and punitive damages for a class of employees who were given assignments based on their race, the suit seeks to enjoin Hi Care from assigning caregivers based on its clients’ racial preferences, and to institute policies which provide equal employment opportunities for caregivers of all races in its work assignments.
“This case shows that race discrimination still continues to permeate employment decisions 46 years after the passage of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” said Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence. “The law mandates that assignments be made without regard to customers’ racial preferences. The EEOC will vigorously enforce the legal right to a workplace free of race discrimination.”
In fiscal year 2009, the EEOC received 33,579 race discrimination charge filings accounting for 36% of the agency’s private sector workload.
According to its website (www.homeinstead.com) 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).