ZEELAND, Mich. - Six current and former Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) have filed a federal racial discrimination lawsuit against an Ottawa County healthcare center.
The lawsuit alleges that Providence Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center in Zeeland granted requests of residents who didn't want to be cared for by African Americans. Then, when the employees were placed in a situation where they had to care for those residents, the employees were harassed by the residents who had not been informed that they could not make such a request.
Also included in the lawsuit is a claim that alleges the six employees were retaliated against by management after complaining to superiors and when the attorney announced the intent to sue in January. They allege the center made the employees care for more patients while training others and also falsely claimed some of abuse.
The six employees, all African American, are asking for compensation for past and future wages and punitive damages as a "result of the reckless indifference with which" the center violated the employees' rights. They are also asking for compensatory damages for mental anguish and emotional distress.
Providence provided their response below: