The Ben Gilman Medical and Dental clinic and the Spring Valley NAACP have reached a possible agreement in a civil rights dispute alleging that the clinic’s closing on Saturdays was unlawful. But now the state took over administration of the complaint, causing the National Association for the Association of Colored People chapter to question the settlement’s future.The negotiations began after a civil rights complaint was filed by the NAACP in September with the county Human Rights Commission. In the complaint, the NAACP alleged, among other things, that the closings on Saturdays, in observance of Shabbos, unlawfully imposed the owners’ religious beliefs on others. The closings were specifically unlawful, the NAACP maintained, because the clinic’s operator, Monsey-based Community Medical and Dental Care Inc., had received millions of dollars in federal funding.
Willie Trotman, who brought the complaint as president of the Spring Valley NAACP, said he was bringing the complaint not as a private citizen but in his role as head of the Spring Valley NAACP and on behalf of the entire community.
According to a copy of a letter written by the county human rights commissioner, Mendel Hoffman had agreed to consider opening on Saturdays for an eight-week trial period; to maintain a diverse, multilingual staff at the Ben Gilman clinic; and to provide staff members diversity training, among other terms. Hoffman is president of Community Medical and Dental.
However, early this year he said he had not been granted rabbinical authority to comply.
Now comes worth that the state took over the case, when asked S. Ram Nagubandi, Rockland’s human rights commissioner, confirmed that his office had been directed to transfer the case to the state Division of Human Rights’ regional office in Peekskill.
(Source: Journal News)