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EEOC Sues McCready Foundation For Race and Age Discrimination

Nursing Home Operator Refused to Promote Employee Because of Race and Age, Federal Agency Charges

BALTIMORE - McCready Foundation, Inc., which operates a network of medical and care facilities on the lower Eastern Shore of Maryland, violated federal law when it failed to promote a worker because of her race (black) and age (53), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it announced today.

According to the EEOC's suit, McCready hired a 53-year-old African-American woman as a geriatric nursing assistant (GNA) at its Alice Byrd Tawes Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Crisfield, Md., in February 2013. She applied for a restorative aide vacancy, which paid $4 more per hour, in July 2014. A GNA is responsible for providing direct routine patient care, while a restorative aide focuses on helping patients gain an improved quality of life by increasing their level of strength and mobility of daily living. She had more than 20 years of GNA experience, held a certification in restorative nursing, and had prior restorative aide experience.

The EEOC charged that despite the superior qualifications of the African-American geriatric nursing assistant, McCready selected a white employee, who was 30 years younger. 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.

The EEOC said that McCready did not follow its internal 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." McCready also failed to comply with its internal interviewing and document retention policies, the EEOC said. McCready failed to preserve various personnel and employment records as required by federal law and Commission regulations, according to the suit.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which prohibits age discrimination against people who are 40 or older. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. McCready Foundation, Inc., Civil Action No. 1:17-cv-02852) in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Northern Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. As part of the suit, the EEOC is seeking back pay and compensatory and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief prohibiting the company from engaging in any employment practices that discriminate based on race or age.

"Federal laws and basic fairness mandate that promotions should be made based on qualifications, not demographic categories," said EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence. "The EEOC will stand up for workers who are denied equal employment opportunities based on race or age."

Kevin Berry, acting district director of EEOC's Philadelphia District Office, added, "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. That's illegal and unjust, and that's why we filed this suit."

The EEOC's Baltimore Field Office is one of four offices in the Philadelphia District Office, which has jurisdiction over Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and parts of New Jersey and Ohio. Attorneys in the Philadelphia District Office also prosecute discrimination cases in Washington, D.C. and parts of Virginia.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.