Nursing Home Purportedly Chose White Aide Without Job Certification Over More Qualified, Older Black Aide

December 11, 2017

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed a lawsuit charging that McCready Foundation, Inc, violated Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) when it failed to promote a 53-year-old black worker because of her race and age. Instead, the operator of a medical and care facilities network on the lower Eastern Shore of Maryland hired a less qualified white employee who was 30 years younger.

McCready hired the African-American woman as a geriatric nursing assistant (GNA) at its Alice Byrd Tawes Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Crisfield, Maryland, in February 2013. She applied for a restorative aide vacancy—which paid $4 more per hour—in July 2014. While a GNA is responsible for providing direct routine patient care, a restorative aide focuses on helping patients gain an improved quality of life by increasing their level of strength and mobility of daily living. The black applicant had more than 20 years of GNA experience, held a certification in restorative nursing, and had prior restorative aide experience.

Despite the black geriatric nursing assistant’s superior qualifications, McCready selected a white employee who was 30 years younger. Allegedly, the selectee had only worked for McCready for three months, had only about three years of GNA experience, and lacked a restorative aide certification—or any significant restorative aide experience.

Moreover, McCready allegedly failed to follow its own position posting and transfer policy, which requires that employees must be employed for 12 months before being transferred to a new position, unless an exception is granted "based on business needs." The company also did not comply with its own interviewing and document retention policies, and it failed to preserve various personnel and employment records as required by federal law and Commission regulations, according to the federal agency’s lawsuit.

The EEOC is seeking back pay and compensatory and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief prohibiting McCready Foundation from engaging in any employment practices that discriminate based on race or age.

"McCready disregarded its own promotion policy and failed to promote an employee who had substantially more company and industry experience, as well as a relevant certification, simply because of her race and age," observed Acting EEOC District Director Kevin Berry. "That's illegal and unjust, and that's why we filed this suit."

The EEOC brought its lawsuit, case number 1:17-cv-02852, in the District of Maryland, Northern Division.