EEOC sues senior living provider for race discrimination

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The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has sued a senior living operator, alleging that it fired an employee because of her race.

Bloomfield Senior Living at Bluffton, a senior living operator doing business in Bluffton and Hilton Head, SC, fired Michelle Tensley, an activities director at Bloom at Belfair, because she is an African-American, the EEOC charged in a lawsuit filed Sept 30.

According to the lawsuit, Tensley made the facility director aware that she was going to be absent to care for her daughter, but the director fired her on the pretense that she failed to tell him personally of her absence. The EEOC alleges that within a year of his appointment, Tensley's supervisor fired or forced the resignation of all four African-American managers under his supervision. If true, the conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race, including the firing of employees because of their race.

The EEOC filed suit after unsuccessfully trying to reach a pre-litigation settlement. The commission is seeking back pay, compensatory and punitive damages and an injunction to stop and prevent any future discrimination.

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