1. Home
  2. Newsroom
  3. Hobe Sound Nursing Home Operators to Pay $67,500 to Settle EEOC National Origin Discrimination Lawsuit
Press Release 03-15-2024

Hobe Sound Nursing Home Operators to Pay $67,500 to Settle EEOC National Origin Discrimination Lawsuit

Haitian Applicant Denied Employment at Nursing Home After Being Subjected to Discriminatory Comments by Owner and Manager, Federal Agency Charged

MIAMI – Nursing home operators Hobe Sound OPCO and related companies Hobe Sound Realty, TOH Holdings, and HSRE, have agreed to pay $67,500 to settle a national origin discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today. 

According to the lawsuit, the identified companies violated federal law when they failed to hire a Haitian applicant for the position of nursing home administrator on the basis of her national origin. The Haitian applicant’s job offer was revoked shortly after meeting with the owner and manager of the nursing home who made discriminatory comments about “voodoo” and other “Haitian rituals.” He claimed the applicant would favor Haitian employees, and relayed a story about a former administrator finding a voodoo doll outside her office after disciplining a Haitian employee. 

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits dis­crimination based on national origin. The EEOC filed its lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division (EEOC v. Hobe Sound OPCO et al., Civil Action No. 6:23-cv-01078) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

The three-year consent decree resolving the EEOC’s lawsuit has been approved by the federal court. In addition to monetary relief, any time the companies operate a nursing home they are required to adopt and distribute a policy prohibiting national origin discrimination and will post a notice to employees regarding the lawsuit. The decree also requires the companies to provide specialized training to managers and employees to ensure that employees are aware of their rights and complaint procedures. The decree also mandates that the companies provide EEOC with reports of any complaints of national origin discrim­ination and describe its actions taken in response to the complaint.

“This case illustrates that national origin discrimination continues to be a barrier for Haitian applicants seeking employment at all levels,” said Kristen Foslid, acting regional attorney in the EEOC’s Miami Office. “Job applicants deserve to advance as far as their talents and abilities take them—including in senior management positions—without having stereotypes forced upon them.”

Miami Office Director Evangeline Hawthorne said, “Compliance with the law is not optional. The EEOC will not tolerate businesses that discriminate against anyone because of their national origin, or any other illegal reason.” 

For more information on national origin discrimination, please visit

The Miami District Office’s jurisdiction includes Florida, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands.

The EEOC prevents and remedies unlawful employment discrimination and advances equal opportunity for all. More information is available at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.