Home Health Care Provider Knowingly Placed Female Nursing Assistants in Home of Sexually Abusive Client, Federal Agency Charges
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nurse One / Team One, LLC, a provider of home health care services, violated federal law by condoning a sexually hostile work environment in the home of one of its clients and firing one victim for complaining, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit announced today.
According to the EEOC’s suit (Civil Action No. 4:09-cv-90 in the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, Winchester Division), Nurse One /Team One, LLC, in McMinnville, Tenn., ignored at least 25 written reports from Renee Neal and a class of female certified nursing assistants (CNAs) of sexual harassment, inappropriate touching and sexual requests by a male client. Instead of taking steps to stop the harassment or removing the client from its services, Nurse One / Team One continued to place Neal and a class of female CNAs at the home of the harassing client. Further, Nurse One / Team One retaliated against Neal by firing her when she refused to apologize to the client for advising another CNA of his actions.
Sexual harassment and condoning a sexually hostile work environment violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which requires employers to provide a workplace free of discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual harassment. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. The lawsuit asks the court to, among other things, grant a permanent injunction enjoining Nurse One / Team One LLC from engaging in any employment practice that permits or condones sexual harassment, and to grant appropriate back wages, compensatory and punitive damages to Neal and the class of female CNAs.
“There is no excuse for knowingly and repeatedly subjecting female employees to a sexually hostile and abusive work environment,” said Katharine W. Kores, director of the EEOC’s Memphis District Office. “The Commission takes seriously its mission to prevent this kind of workplace misbehavior from continuing.”
Nurse One / Team One, LLC provides health care staff to hospitals, nursing homes, private duty nursing, and mental health facilities.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.