A medical staffing company in New York state will be required to pay a fine of over $100,000 for posting an offensive help-wanted ad in the West Haverstraw Pennysaver that warned, “No Haitians need apply.”
Interim Healthcare Inc. is one of the oldest and most well-known medical staffing companies in the nation, so when it appeared that they had posted a racist ad, many were offended and confused.
Senator David Carlucci of Rockland County was outraged, describing the post as a “direct violation of the Civil Rights act” and “completely illegal!”
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman investigated whether the ad had been an act of discrimination or a vulgar prank. His office found that the advertisement had quoted a patient’s request directly, and was not reviewed before publication. Furthermore, they found that Interim Healthcare did not employ any precautions to eliminate discriminatory requests before posting them.
“My office is committed to ensuring equal access to employment for all New Yorkers and will not tolerate discrimination against any New Yorker based on race or national origin or any other protected status,” said Schneiderman. “Blatantly discriminatory job advertisements like this are wrong and clearly illegal.”
After the Haitian Nurses Association expressed its anger on the company’s Facebook page, Interim Healthcare released a statement, calling the ad “totally unacceptable. “Please accept our sincere apology,” the company said. “In particular, we apologize to the entire Haitian community.”
Medical staffing is a growing market, and includes workers from all demographics. During the course of a year, staffing companies in the United States hire more than 14 million temporary and contract employees. In addition to offending members of the Haitian community, this ad also angered those in the nursing and staffing fields, who felt that their professions were under attack.