Tuesday, July 29, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 0 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Federal agency sues isle company over alleged age discrimination

By Andrew Gomes


A federal agency enforcing employment discrimination laws has filed an age discrimination lawsuit against a Hawaii company that provides health care to seniors.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the suit against Hawaii Healthcare Professionals Inc., alleging that the Honolulu-based company providing home health care services on Oahu, Maui and Kauai fired a 54-year-old office coordinator because of age.

The company denies the allegations and said it supports seniors as employees and customers.

"We're in the business of elder care. We're not going to discriminate," said Carolyn Frutoz-DeHarne, the firm's chief executive officer.

Frutoz-DeHarne said Hawaii Healthcare Professionals has 125 employees, of which the oldest is 86. At the time of the age discrimination complaint made two years ago, the company's oldest employee was 72, she said.

The EEOC filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Hawaii on behalf of a former employee in the company's Maui office.

According to the complaint, the company's owner, Frutoz-DeHarne, made disparaging remarks about the 54-year-old female employee looking old and sounding old on the telephone, and had the employee fired.

Frutoz-DeHarne said the EEOC's claim -- which includes the contention that she said the employee looked "like a bag of bones" -- has no merit.

The EEOC said it filed the suit after unsuccessfully attempting to settle the complaint filed by the former employee.

The suit seeks back pay and monetary damages for the former employee, as well as injunctive relief intended to prevent further discrimination.

 Print   Email   Comment | View 0 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
Latest News/Updates
Wassup Wit Dat!
Bettah Not Lose It

Political Radar
`My side’

Political Radar
‘He reminds me of me’

Bionic Reporter
Needing a new knee

Warrior Beat
Monday musings

Small Talk
Burning money

Political Radar
On policy