Experience level: 
Intended Audience: 
Stephanie J. Thomason Dean Koutroumanis

What Should Columbine Health Systems Do in the Wake of a Discrimination Settlement?

Marlene Home, a supervisor at the New Mercer Commons Assisted Living Facility in northern Colorado, struggled executing a directive given to her by her immediate supervisor. Marlene was instructed to terminate four Black African employees, who had all been valued, competent employees. Columbine Health Systems oversees the New Mercer Commons Assisted Living Facility in northern Colorado. In 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit alleging Title VII discrimination based on national origin or race for the wrongful terminations of four Black African personal care providers and retaliation against their White supervisor who failed to demote one of them. The African workers had failed to pass a written test, which was part of a new policy. Columbine Health Systems settled the lawsuit for $335,000. Leaders at Columbine Health Systems must now consider ways to devise policies, ethical codes of conduct, and hiring and training practices to avoid future discrimination claims while it works on improving its public image.