ANNAPOLIS, DEC. 4 -- Anne Arundel General Hospital has agreed to begin an affirmative action program, give annual employe relations training to all supervisors and solicit more black members for its Board of Managers.
The actions are part of a consent decree approved this week by hospital officials, a group of black employes and U.S. District Judge Frank A. Kaufman, and is designed to end a discrimination suit filed by the employe group. However, Kaufman said he will not sign the order until after Dec. 18 to give other hospital employes a chance to examine the agreement and raise any objections.
The suit was filed in February after black employes at the Annapolis hospital formed what they called the Coalition for Justice and Equality and picketed the hospital. The black employes, about 300 of the hospital's 1,300-member staff, said that blacks working there had been subjected to petty harassments and insults and had not been promoted.
They also said there were not enough black department heads and that blacks were not represented on the hospital's governing Board of Managers. Leonard Blackshear, a black Annapolis businessman, has since been elected to the board, which consists of the hospital staff president, the hospital's auxiliary president and 16 members elected by the hospital association. The association is made up of hospital donors.
"It has worked out very well," said Carl Snowden, an Annapolis City Council member and civil rights activist who represented the black employes during their protest. He said hospital officials "have put together an affirmative action program and they're putting it into effect. They've taken some pretty constructive steps to rectify what was a bad situation."
Hospital spokeswoman Molly Kalifut said officials will not comment on the agreement. Hospital officials have insisted during the last year that the hospital does not discriminate, and that position is repeated in the consent decree.