HR Strange But True!
October 10, 2003

We all know that HR is never dull, but sometimes it can get downright strange...

Bad call

The husband of a woman giving birth at a Philadelphia hospital demanded that no black people assist in the delivery-and hospital supervisors complied.

Abington Memorial Hospital has a policy stating that "care will be provided on a nondiscriminatory basis," yet maternity ward supervisors thought it best to keep African-American staffers-including doctors, nurses and service employees-out of the woman's room, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

"The staff informed our African-American employees that there was a volatile situation, and they suggested that they not interact with the family," Hospital vice president Meg McGoldrick said. "In some cases, they actually told employees that they probably ought not to go into the room."

The supervisors had good intentions and sought only to avoid a confrontation with the man, who was white, McGoldrick told the Inquirer.

Yet the decision offended many employees and prompted hospital president Richard L. Jones Jr. to issue a statement calling the situation "morally reprehensible."

"The whole incident has greatly upset many of our employees who... perceived that we were acquiescing to the family's wishes," McGoldrick acknowledged. "We were wrong. We should have followed our policy."

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer

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