The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Franklin Square Hospital announced an agreement yesterday under which the hospital will pay $325,000 to African-Americans who were denied nursing and file clerk jobs from 1993 to 1997.
Judy Navarro, an investigator in the Baltimore office of the EEOC, said this was the largest such agreement reached by the office in several years. As part of the agreement, she said, Franklin Square will not only compensate people denied jobs but will be "monitoring its applicant flow with the goal of expanding on diversity."
Navarro said that after investigating Franklin Square's hiring, the EEOC had decided that there was "reasonable cause to believe individuals had not been hired based on race."
She declined to discuss the Franklin Square investigation in detail, but said that the EEOC considers anecdotal evidence and statistical data on the work force compared to the availability of workers in the area. She said the "reasonable cause" decision was an internal document that would not be made public.
After that finding, she said, the EEOC met with Franklin Square to work out the agreement.
Trina Adams, director of public relations and communications for the eastern Baltimore County hospital, said, "An audit was done, and it found that we did not have the comparable amount of African-American employees."
She said the hospital had not agreed to hire specific numbers, but was seeking to bring in "additional qualified blacks in proportion to applications."
The hospital will offer training, particularly for staff members who do hiring, "to enhance employees' awareness of diversity issues," she said. Also, Adams said, the hospital will review its application process based on the EEOC findings.
Navarro said a "significant number" of people would benefit from the settlement, but did not have an estimate of how many might qualify. She said the hospital would run advertisements in newspapers and nursing journals seeking those who had applied unsuccessfully.
Adams said she did not have data on how many positions were involved in the hiring study.
"Franklin Square has been working closely with the EEOC and has demonstrated a strong commitment to equal opportunity," Gerald S. Kiel, acting director of the EEOC Baltimore office, said. "We are particularly impressed with the receptiveness the hospital has shown to ideas that will help it to realize its goal of becoming a model employer."
Pub Date: 4/06/99