The New York attorney general is investigating a help-wanted ad for a nurse in an upstate Pennysaver that stipulated "no Haitians" need apply as the company behind it apologizes for the "totally unacceptable" notice.
The ad in the Oct. 15 Pennysaver newsletter states that Interim Healthcare Inc. seeks a "Female LPN/RN" for employment in West Haverstraw. Among the qualifications listed in the ad are "laid back nurse, no haitians (sic)."
The Haitian American Caucus said it was "appalled" by the ad and denounced the hiring processes of Interim Healthcare. It also demanded the ad be removed.
On Monday, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent a letter to Interim Healthcare saying the ad violates federal and state civil rights laws barring discrimination in hiring. Schneiderman ordered the company to submit written proof by Thursday showing the ad has been discontinued.
He also said that by next week, the company had to submit documents showing remedial steps it has taken with respect to the ad, the names of all staff and personnel responsible for hiring nurses and nurses' aides, the names of all those responsible for creating and distributing employment ads, copies of all employment ads and copies of any complaints related to discrimination, harassment and retaliation, among other requirements.
In a statement, Interim Healthcare said it has engaged an independent third party to conduct a comprehensive review, and that it will reassess its policies and procedures to ensure such an ad never again appears on its behalf.
"We value the diversity of our patients and our employees. The ad in the Pennysaver for an LPN is totally unacceptable and is offensive to us and we know to all of you," the statement from Interim Healthcare President Katherine McNally said. " I can assure you that we take this seriously."
The statement also said it was working with its franchisee to understand what happened.
"IHC has been an equal opportunity employer in hiring all levels of caregivers to care for patients across the country," the statement said. "We deeply regret the pain and hurt this ad has caused for employees and customers. Our deepest apology goes to the Haitian community and especially Haitian nurses."
Pennysaver also apologized, saying the ad had been removed and was mistakenly published without proper protocol.
"We recognize the wording was highly offensive to our readers, executives as well as the employees of The Pennysaver and by no means does it reflect the opinions or feelings of the company," the statement continued. "Please accept our sincere apology and realize we regret any personal offense this has caused our readers, employees and the community we serve."