Nursing home settles discrimination-against-nurses claims with N.Y. AG

By Bryan Cohen | Mar 7, 2014

ROME, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a settlement on Tuesday with a Rome-based nursing home that allegedly discriminated against African-American nurses.

Betsy Ross Nursing and Rehabilitation Center allegedly accommodated the racially discriminatory preferences of a patient who did not want to be seen or treated by African-American nurses. The nursing home allegedly responded by reassigning all African-American nurses to another unit of the facility, barring African-American employees from working in that unit and posting a sign reading "No Colored Nurses" in the unit.

"The fact that nearly 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, some New Yorkers are still subject to racial discrimination at work - or anywhere - is shocking and unacceptable," Schneiderman said. "Sadly, this case demonstrates that racism is still alive, and that we must be aggressive and unwavering in rooting out racial discrimination by employers."

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the New York State Human Rights Law, it is illegal to discriminate against employees based on race.

Under the terms of the settlement, Betsy Ross will put in place a comprehensive anti-discrimination policy, post public notices around its facility related to the facility's commitment to nondiscrimination, retain a third-party diversity consultant to conduct training, provide reports to Schneiderman's office for three years and develop new protocols for filing complaints related to discrimination.

Betsy Ross also agreed not to retaliate against any former or current employees who participated in Schneiderman's inquiry.

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