The federal agency in charge of addressing employment discrimination has sternly warned nursing home operators: Don’t ask about the next baby of an employee, especially if that person is up for promotion.
That’s according to a lawsuit filed in late September against the Glenridge on Palmer Ranch, an upscale retirement community in Sarasota, FL, that offers skilled nursing and other services. In the filing, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleges that managers encouraged dining worker Michelle Fredericks to apply for a supervisor position in 2015.
But before she could apply, a manager texted Fredericks and asked when she planned to have her next child, writing, “With this position it doesn’t leave a lot of time off for long periods of time,” according to an EEOC filing. Glenridge never interviewed Fredericks for the position, and offered it to a female “that it did not believe would become pregnant,” the suit said.
The EEOC alleges that Glenridge is violating the Civil Rights Act and is seeking back-pay, discrimination damages, and injunctive relief to prevent any future pregnancy discrimination, after failing to resolve the matter outside of court.
Sunya Wilson, a human resources representative at the Glenridge, told McKnight’s that the organization does not tolerate discrimination and regrets how the incident transpired.
“At the Glenridge on Palmer Ranch, our philosophy in hiring practices is to be equal and inclusive, and it is not our policy to discriminate,” Wilson wrote.
“In this circumstance, we believe a text message exchange among co-workers and friends was taken out of context, and we regret that this unauthorized communication occurred. Ms. Fredericks did not formally apply for the open position and as a result, was not interviewed.”