A Florida-based health care company is apologizing to the Haitian community after it posted what many are calling a discriminatory job ad in New York.
Interim Healthcare, which has its corporate office in Sunrise, offers health care services across the country through 300 different franchises.
In an Oct. 15 ad looking for female nurses in Rockland County, N.Y., it explicitly states “no Haitians" should apply.
The ad appeared in the widely distributed Pennysaver newsletter, but it wasn't until pictures of the ad started circulating on social media that elected officials and others really took notice.
I am outraged that this help wanted ad was posted and I stand in solidarity with many throughout the community who are equally outraged.— David Carlucci (@davidcarlucci) October 18, 2015
New York state Sen. David Carlucci, whose district includes Rockland County, said constituents started emailing him and posting the ad on his Facebook page.
He said the advertisement is intentional employment discrimination and a violation of the Civil Rights Act.
“It serves no place in our community or anywhere in this country,” he said. “I’ve called on the New York state attorney to do a thorough investigation to really correct this injustice and to make sure that this discriminatory behavior is not accepted.”
The Haitian American Nurses Association of Florida (HANAF) took to Creole-language airwaves in South Florida to denounce the ad.
Marjorie Lozama, former president for HANAF, said she’s also been in touch with the Haitian nurses associations in New York.
“It is ridiculous that a health agency would take a stance against Haitian nurses,” she said. “We don’t understand why it was done, but we want to make sure it never happens again."
Interim Healthcare did not respond to a WLRN interview request, but apologized in a statement posted on the company's website.
"We sincerely apologize for the offensive nature of the ad," the statement from Interim's president Katherine McNally said.
It continues, "Our deepest apologies goes out the Haitian community, especially Haitian nurses."
See the full statement below: