WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 9, 2009) — McDermott Will & Emery LLP today announced it had achieved a significant victory in a three-year civil rights discrimination case brought by health care workers against Firm client Sentosa Care LLC, and a large group of nursing homes, operating in NY state.
The decision to dismiss the civil rights discrimination cases brought by 26 Filipino health care workers was handed down by the Office of Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) for the U.S. Department of Justice on June 30, 2009. The controversy at hand involved various health care workers who contended that the nursing homes discriminated against them based upon their citizenship status. The nursing homes expended significant time and resources to recruit the nurses and physical therapists from the Philippines to fill positions at their facilities. The immigration process normally takes a year during which time staffing needs change, a typical occurrence in health care facilities. The health care workers then filed discrimination complaints with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) for being assigned to work in a different facility than the one identified in their immigration paperwork.
Following a lengthy investigation, the OSC declined to pursue the charges, at which time the health care workers filed administrative complaints with the OCAHO, alleging similar claims, as well as retaliation. The McDermott team handily won on its motions for summary decision and successfully achieved the dismissal of all 26 complaints filed against the nursing homes. Indeed, McDermott’s arguments were so persuasive that the Administrative Law Judge adopted much of the language presented in the briefs.
The trial team responsible for this victory was led by Elizabeth I. Hack, a partner based in the Washington D.C. office and a member of the Health Law and Trial Groups.
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