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Unrelated Criminal History Case Moves Past Preliminary Objections

A lawsuit filed in the Chester County Court of Common Pleas alleges Genesis Health Care violated Pennsylvania law by refusing to hire a prospective employee solely because of her unrelated criminal history.

Genesis operates skilled nursing facilities, assisted living centers and rehab facilities in 34 states. The company is headquartered in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.

Taheera Heard is a 38-year-old African-American woman who was sought out by a recruiter and offered a job as a Senior IT Auditor at the administrative offices of Genesis earlier in 2015. After making an initial job offer, and setting a conditional start date, Genesis never got back to Ms. Heard to finalize the start date. It was only in late 2015 that Ms. Heard received notice that she was not being hired because of the results of a background check. The complaint alleges that Genesis based its decision not to hire on unrelated criminal charges, even though Ms. Heard had previously disclosed her record to the company. In anticipation of her new position, Ms. Heard had already quit her previous job, and so became unemployed.

After we filed the complaint in this case, Genesis, the defendant, filed preliminary objections, seeking to have the case dismissed without the court reaching the merits. We are pleased that President Judge Cody of the Chester County Court of Common Pleas has largely overruled these preliminary objections. Discovery is now ongoing in this case.

Learn more about this case.