After a total of 29 employees of a hospital in Montrose, Colorado were either fired or forced to resign, the question of whether the hospital violated federal law was posed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). All of the employees who were terminated from employment or forced to resign were aged 40 and older, and many of them had worked for the hospital for 10 to 20 or more years. If you think you have been discriminated against in a similar manner because of your age, you should consult with an experienced Colorado employment lawyer.
Details of the Discrimination
The Montrose hospital asserted that the list of employees in question were fired for performance deficiencies. However, after investigating, the EEOC found that younger employees were reported to be treated with more leniency than the older employees. It was also alleged by the EEOC that managers within the hospital would make ageist comments, such as the younger nurses could “dance around” the older nurses. It was also said that the hospital preferred younger, “fresher” nurses working in their establishment.
Attempted Pre-Litigation Settlement
Before filing the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, the EEOC did attempt to settle the lawsuit out of court through what is known as its conciliation process. This process is voluntary for the parties, and it is often an inexpensive, effective, and efficient process, but in the end, both parties must agree to the resolution. The attempt at conciliation with the hospital did not end with an agreeable solution for both parties, so the EEOC had no choice but to file the lawsuit (EEOC v. Montrose Memorial Hospital, Inc., Case No. 1:16-cv-02277-WYD-GPG (D. Colo.)) on behalf of the 29 employees who faced unfair treatment in the workplace and were then fired or forced to leave.
On January 4, 2018, the EEOC announced that the Montrose hospital finally agreed to pay a $400,000 settlement, as well as make changes to their policies and procedures at the hospital. The settlement agreement requires the hospital to not only pay the monetary damages, but also conduct annual anti-discrimination training for all of its employees, managers, supervisors, and human resources, employees. Additionally, the hospital is required to revise and redistribute its policy regarding anti-discrimination, as well as report any complaints of age discrimination to the EEOC
29 employees do not have to be discriminated against for an age discrimination lawsuit to be filed against an employer. If your employer has discriminated against you because of your age, or if you have suffered age discrimination from other employees, and your complaints to your manager or supervisor have not been addressed and the discrimination has not been stopped, you should contact a Colorado employment attorney. The federal laws are clear: Age-based discrimination is prohibited and will not be tolerated in the workplace. Contact the law offices of HKM Employment Attorneys LLP. We are available in our Denver office 24/7 for a consultation, so call us anytime at (303) 991-3075.