When I first heard of the report of unfortunate ad, everything in me wished that it was all a hoax or some tasteless joke. It has however turned out to be very true.
As a health care group apologized Monday for a “no haitian” need apply advertisement for nurses and vowed to probe how the ad came about, the state Attorney General’s Office opened an investigation into the business.
Interim Healthcare Inc.’s advertisement in the Oct. 15 New City, N.Y., Pennysaver seeking a nurse violated federal and state civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in hiring based on national origin, Assistant Attorney General Diane Lucas wrote to the president of Interim Healthcare.
Lucas’ letter demands Interim Healthcare provide written proof by Thursday that the company has discontinued the advertisement.
Apparently, Bill Spadea of Chasing News thinks that State Attorney David Carlucci is overreacting. Watch his conversation With State Attorney Carlucci below in this video.
Before Attorney General Eric Scheiderman acted, Katherine McNally, a nurse and president of Interim Healthcare, issued a written apology Monday.
Her statement said the company will have “an independent third party conduct a comprehensive review of what occurred” and “we have already taken action and will continue to do so.”
“We value the diversity of our patients and our employees,” McNally wrote. “The ad in the Pennysaver for an LPN is totally unacceptable and is offensive to us, and we know to all of you.”Please accept our sincere apology,” she wrote. “In particular, we apologize to the entire Haitian community.”
Interim Healthcare’s apology wasn’t enough, however, for the leader of Rockland County’s largest Haitian community who said he plans to hold a meeting with Haitian-American residents on the matter.
Renold Julien, head of the community group Konbit Neg Lakay, said the advertisement raises concerns about whether the health care company refuses to hire Haitians generally.
“They have to show more than saying they are sorry,” said Julien. “They have to show they really mean it.”
Interim Healthcare is a national franchise that provides in-home care, and the ad placed in the local Pennysaver on Oct. 15 was seeking to fill a nursing position in West Haverstraw, N.Y. The typo-ridden ad said in part: “Laid back nurse, no haitians, must have strong respiratory mngt.” The ad also sought only female nurses.
Julien said that the ad compounded the insult by not capitalizing Haitians.
“Even the way they put the ad is insulting,” he said.
McNally’s apology was posted on the company’s Facebook page. The general statement didn’t describe any specific actions that had been taken or give further information on the company’s hiring policies. Telephone calls to the company’s office were not returned Sunday and Monday.
McNally got a small measure of understanding from Spring Valley Mayor Demeza Delhomme, the county’s only elected Haitian mayor and one of it’s first elected officials.
“This is America and when someone makes a mistake and apologizes, you move on,” said Delhomme. “They say they are sorry. I hope in the future they look more closely when they have something like this. They apologized and life goes on.”
Not every representative of the Haitian community, however, was as conciliatory as Delhomme.
“The Haitian American Nurses Association is outraged that this help wanted ad blatantly stated for everyone to read that no Haitians would be considered for this nursing position,” said Florence Pierre-Pierre, vice president of the Haitian American Nurses Association of Rockland in a statement released by state Sen. David Carlucci, a Democrat from New City. Carlucci had called for an investigation into the matter by the state Department of Labor and Schneiderman.
“It is shocking that in 2015 this type of discriminatory behavior is still occurring, however, we are committed to ensure that our members never have to experience this again.”
The Pennysaver Group said Monday that the ad was published by mistake and without “proper editing protocol” and has since been removed.
“We deeply apologize to our readers and the Haitian community,” the company’s chairman, Sidney Sutter, and chief operating officer, Stacie Goldberg, said in a statement posted on the company’s Facebook page.
HANA members of Florida are joining forces with HANA Chapters nationwide to demand justice.
On Monday October 26, 2015 their will be “March for Answers”. The procession will start promptly at 8:30am in Memorial Park Spring Valley, New York 10977 and will end at the Interim Healthcare Inc. principal Rockland county office located in Naunet, New York.