Assisted Living Facility Settles Discrimination Complaint

Assisted Living Facility Settles Discrimination Complaint Click to Enlarge Photo: Edgewood Sartell/Facebook

(KNSI) - A senior facility in Sartell has settled a discrimination case with a former employee who says she was harassed by a resident at work and eventually fired.

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights settlement agreement says Edgewood Sartell violated the state's civil rights of Jameisha Cox, a personal care assistant, because of her race.

Cox says she was assigned her to work with a resident who racially harassed her.

She says the resident made racist and derogatory comments about Cox's race, skin, and hair, and attempted to rip off Cox's headscarf.

When Cox said when she and other employees reported the racial harassment to Cox's supervisor, the supervisor did nothing.

Cox's supervisor also repeatedly denied Cox's requests to work with a different resident.

According to the Department of Human Rights, the senior living facility fired Cox because of her race.

According to the state, Edgewood Sartell falsely claimed that Cox failed to report to work when she followed the company's protocol.

Cox requested, and her supervisor approved time-off because she was waiting for her next paycheck to repair her car that she used to get to work.

The state says Edgewood Sartell did not fire other employees who had significant attendance issues.

Cox's says the senior living facility's executive director never responded to her complaint in response to her termination.

On November 18, 2018, Cox filed a charge of discrimination with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, alleging racial discrimination.

On December 31, 2019, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights determined that Edgewood Sartell violated the Minnesota Human Rights Act when the senior living facility discriminated against Cox when it failed to address the resident's racial harassment and when it fired Cox because of her race.

The settlement calls for Edgewood Sartell to amend discrimination and harassment policies to clarify the policies apply to harassing and discriminatory conduct by employees, residents, guests, visitors, vendors, and contractors.

Inform all employees of the updated policies.

Provide one hour of anti-discrimination and anti-harassment training to all non-supervisory and non-managerial employees.

The deal also calls for 1.5 hours of anti-discrimination and anti-harassment to all of its managers and supervisors. It provides one hour of bias training to all of its employees.

The settlement agreement also requires Edgewood Sartell to pay Cox for lost wages and damages.

Edgewood Sartell denies Cox’s allegations and that there was any merit to the Department’s findings in connection with its investigation of this matter.

Edgewood Sartell denies that discrimination or harassment based on race or any other protected class occurred, or that it violated the Minnesota Human Rights Act or any other law.

Edgewood Sartell is committed to equal employment opportunity for all individuals, and a workplace free from unlawful discrimination and harassment.

It only reached a settlement in this matter to minimize the time, attorney fees, and costs that it would otherwise expend in addressing this dispute.