Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mainstream

Salon.com looks into the strange hiring practices of Rick Scott, the healthcare reform opponent and founder of Conservatives for Patients’ Rights. It seems that if you wanted to work in one of his Soltanic walk-in clinics in Florida, you couldn’t be fat, Middle Eastern, have an accent, or any other quality that might make you outside of the mainstream.

Solantic would hold what employees called “casting calls,” group job interviews for its front office and clerical help. Many ex-employees have alleged these group sessions allowed management to eyeball prospective hires and make sure only the ones fitting the company’s aesthetic guidelines were selected.

From 2003 to 2005, five Solantic supervisors, all working in different clinics, have claimed they were explicitly prevented from hiring people they deemed the most qualified because the candidates were either overweight, too old, Hispanic or black. The supervisors all prepared lawsuits with the same lawyer, claiming they were fired or forced to quit “because they did not want to enforce Solantic’s discriminatory practices,” as their complaints state. Two employees corroborated specific incidents in their own lawsuits against the company.

Mr. Scott also has a propensity for firing people who raise objections to his hiring practices.

According to the article, Mr. Scott has amassed a sizable fortune in the healthcare industry, including being the CEO of Columbia/HCA until he got ousted after the company pleaded guilty fraud (Mr. Scott was never charged and he claimed no knowledge of the wrong-doing). Still, having someone with such unsavory business and hiring practices is an argument in itself for getting healthcare reform passed and out of the hands of people who are in it just to make money.