Hispanic Employees Say Nursing Home’s No Spanish Policy Is Discriminatory
Several Hispanic employees of a Scranton nursing home filed a complaint with state and federal employment agencies alleging a policy that prohibits them from speaking Spanish at the facility is discriminatory. The complaint filed against Mountain View Care & Rehabilitation, 2309 Stafford Ave., says five women employed as certified nursing assistants recently were advised that they could not speak Spanish anywhere on the premises, including break rooms, restrooms, the parking lot and other areas accessible only to employees. Scranton attorney Danielle Mulcahey filed the complaint Thursday with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission — agencies that investigate allegations of racial, gender, religious, age and other forms of discrimination. According to the complaint, the employees, Michelle Lopez,Nancy Acosta, Yanaira Marmol Pena, Yocasta Bello and Ysmit Mercado, never spoke Spanish in front of patients or coworkers who did not speak the language. The women advised a nursing home official they were offended by the policy, enacted in July, which they say singles out them and discriminates against them because of their national origin. Officials paid “lip service” to their complaints and never explained why the policy was necessary. David Barmak, an attorney for the nursing home, said officials were not aware a complaint was filed and would investigate the matter. “The facility’s policy is to respect the rights of residents and employees and abide by all state and federal non-discrimination requirements,” he said. Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9137; @tmbeseckerTT on Twitter.