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Press Release 08-09-2022

EEOC Sues Aspire Nursing Homes for Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Maintenance Director Unlawfully Fired Because of His Sexual Orientation, Federal Agency Charged

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Aspire Regional Partners, Inc., MSTC Development, Inc., and their nursing homes known as the Northwood Assisted Living and Northwood Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Facilities (collectively, “Aspire”), violated federal law when they discriminated against a maintenance director because of his sexual orientation, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it announced today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Aspire discriminated against the maintenance director because of his sexual orientation, including falsely accusing him of performance deficiencies and firing him. Aspire and MSTC Development manage and operate nursing homes throughout Southern Ohio.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, including sexual orientation. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Aspire Regional Partners, Inc., et al., Case No. 2:22-cv-03071-SDM-EPD) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its administrative conciliation process. The EEOC is seeking permanent injunctive relief prohibiting Aspire from discriminating against employees because of their sexual orientation in the future, lost wages, compensatory and punitive damages, and other relief.

“The EEOC has long been a leader in challenging discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, including through our litigation in cases leading to the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Bostock v. Clayton County,” said EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows. “This case continues our work to make Bostock’s promise a reality nationwide.”

EEOC District Director Jamie R. Williamson of the agency’s Philadelphia District said, “The EEOC is committed to enforcing Title VII’s prohibition against discrimination on the basis of sex in all forms, including discrimination because of sexual orientation.”

Philadelphia District Office Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence added, “Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation cannot be tolerated. The EEOC is committed to protecting the LGBTQI+ community from prejudice in the workplace.”

The EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office has jurisdiction over Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and parts of New Jersey and Ohio. The legal staff of EEOC also prosecutes 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.