Nursing Facility Steers Black Nurses from the Homes of White Clients

One company that offers in-home nursing services got accused of driving black nurses away from white clients’ home.

Previous staffers at Accord Services stated that the agency would describe some nurses as being too ethnic, too black, too ghetto or too old when it comes to choosing to send them to a house, based on a federal lawsuit.

The lawsuit said that defendants purposely held discriminations to applicants and employees alike who are black, which includes African Americans and Africans, and were more in favor of employees and applicants who are Caucasian and Hispanic. The lawsuit seeks monetary damages.

The four plaintiffs explained that the negative stereotyping of blacks produced a working place that is leaking with hostility towards blacks.

But a company’s spokesman said that the plaintiffs are just discontented previous employees who were either fired or had resigned.

Freddy Allen, administrator, said to Channel 2 Action News that he has read the allegation which he finds totally untrue. He noted that the agency has black nurses who have been employed in Accord Services for nearly ten years.

The plaintiffs included Tracee Goldman, Erika Arnold, Christine Muchene, and Debra Trawick, who assert disobedience of the U.S. Civil Rights Act.

Arnold, former human resources manager, said in the lawsuit that statements can be heard which ranged from a nurse can’t be used due to being too ghetto or that a client wouldn’t prefer foreigners or that black women are not skilled professionals. Arnold was taken on by the company in June 2007 and was fired back in April 2009.

Also a previous HR staffer, Goodman, who has worked at the company from October 2006 and December 2008, had the same allegations in the suit of 63 pages.

Prior to putting someone in a particular position, Goodman said questions like what color or what age were asked first. Goodman confirmed applications and made background checks.

Race-based comments, said Goodman, were usually made at staffing meetings, in which Accord would convey inclination to employ white and Hispanic applicants for nurse’s aide and nurse positions.

A white office manager, Trawick, who functioned at Accord from June and August 2009, stated that the company was open to discussion on the preferences of clients for white or younger nurse’s aides and nurses.

Trawick recalled statements such as “You have to staff him with a WG, he does not want a black person” or “She can’t be used because she lacks a tooth and she is too ghetto” during meetings.

Certified nurse’s aide, Muchene, who is a Kenyan, stated that she applied to Accord first in 2007 and each year she was told that her application is still active, and she would be contacted should a position be available. She stated that not a single call was made to her even after she saw that postings for vacancies would be filled later.

While Trawick was still office manager, she said when she asked regarding Muchene’s application, the company would tell her they favored younger or non-African applicants.

Muchene is a permanent U.S. resident. She filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It gave her a “notice of right to sue”.

However, Allen dismissed such claims. He told Channel 2 that every allegation was made by a couple of discontented employees who were either fired or had resigned.

Also black himself, Allen said that if a likely client asks for a nurse or a different race, such request was denied and that the client is referred somewhere else.

A lawyer for the plaintiffs states that the group would like a jury come to a decision for monetary damages.

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