For more information please call  800.727.2766


EEOC Alleges Vermont Long-Care Facility Allowed Racial Harassment

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit alleging Elderwood, a long-term care facility in Vermont, violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The EEOC alleges some of the facility's white residents made offensive racial slurs to Black nurses and employees. These residents used terms such as "n----r," "coon," "monkey," and "Black b----s." One patient purportedly told Black employees to "go back to Africa," followed and berated Black employees as they moved through the facility, and physically assaulted Black employees. A male patient allegedly punched one worker, smacked a different employee, and hit a third employee with his walker.

The EEOC further alleges Elderwood's managers and supervisors witnessed these racially motivated acts and received complaints from the Black employees about the conduct. However, the EEOC alleges Elderwood's management told the Black employees that its residents could say whatever they wanted in the facility. One manager allegedly told a Black nurse that she should be used to racial slurs because she is "from the South." The EEOC's lawsuit asserted the Black employees were subjected to ongoing racial abuse for many months without any effective response from Elderwood. If found liable, the facility may be required to compensate the impacted employees for emotional pain and suffering. The EEOC is also seeking measures to stop further harassment at the facility.

An Elderwood spokesperson told a newspaper outlet that it could not comment on ongoing litigation. The spokesperson did say, "We will vigorously defend our efforts to protect our staff from racial harassment." The facility "prides itself on promoting a culture of diversity and inclusion."