New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman opened a probe into the home heath care company that advertised nursing positions in a West Haverstraw, NY local paper, but specified Haitians need not apply.

“The advertisement violates federal and state civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in hiring on the basis of national origin,” Assistant Attorney General Diane Lucas said in a letter to Katherine McNally, president of Interim Healthcare. The healthcare company advertised in the Oct. 15 edition of the local Pennysaver, “no haitians” would be considered for their available nursing positions.

The attorney general’s office has opened an investigation into the company and their hiring practices. Interim Healthcare has until Oct. 22 to provide “written proof” that the ad has been discontinued.

Schneiderman is also requesting the company release “the names of all the staff and personnel responsible for creating and distributing advertisements for employment.” They must also provide all copies of complaints made against them, relating to “discrimination, harassment and retaliation.”  In total the attorney general’s office made six requests to Interim Healthcare.

There are roughly 1,000,000 Haitians living in the United States, according to U.S. Census data. It’s estimated 23 percent of the Haitian Diaspora lives in Rockland County.

New York state Senator Dave Carlucci has been among the firsts to publicly denounce this advertisement.

“I am outraged at this blatant form of employment discrimination,” Carlucci said in a statement. “This company should be ashamed of itself, and Pennysaver should strongly reconsider running any job postings from Interim Healthcare in future publications.”

“This is not the first, nor will it be the last time such an incident” like this occurs, said Jean Monestime in a statement. In the statement, Monestime detailed his own experiences with discrimination. Early in his academic career, Monestime had applied for a scholarship intended for black students, but was later denied because he was Haitian. “I was shocked when Florida International University denied me the opportunity to register go to the maser program.”

Since the posting, Interim has issued a public apology and says a third party will do a full review of the incident. Sidney Sutter, president of Tristate Meida Group, who publishes the West Haverstraw Pennysaver, has taken down the ad and is printing a public apology in the next edition of the Pennysaver.

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