Rochester Hospital Settles Language Discrimination Suit for $200,000

May 11, 2006 ( - Highland Hospital of Rochester, New York, has agreed to pay $200,000 to settle Hispanic workers' discrimination complaints that it prohibited seven workers, who it knew had limited English proficiency, from speaking Spanish on the job.

According to the Rochester Business Journal, US District Court Judge Charles Siragusa approved the settlement in which the money will be split among the five workers that brought the suit and the three others that later joined. The hospital did not admit wrongdoing.

The publication reported that the Highland workers first filed a complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2004, and the commission later sued the hospital in July on their behalf.

The hospital agreed to rescind disciplinary actions against the complaining workers, provide training by an outside agency in non-discrimination and non-harassment for managers, and to post and circulate a non-discrimination policy for its staff, the Journal reported.

The consent decree calls for periodic monitoring by the EEOC.