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Nurse called "kinda old" can continue age discrimination suit

Federal law prohibits employers in New York and elsewhere from discriminating against employees due to their age. Despite this, many businesses continue to show bias against older workers.

For example, on Oct. 4, a federal district court in Mississippi ruled that a nurse's age discrimination suit against Anderson Regional Medical Center can go forward. The hospital had filed a motion for summary judgment in its favor. The lawsuit alleges that during the plaintiff's first shift with her assigned supervisor, the supervisor complained that the hospital needed a nurse who "isn't as old as you are." The lawsuit further alleges that the supervisor said the plaintiff was "pretty old to be a part of this team" and called her "kinda old and gray-headed." While the plaintiff received a positive job performance report at her 60-day evaluation, she was terminated after her 90-day probation period was over. She contends she was fired due to her age. Meanwhile, the hospital claims that the plaintiff was let go because she refused to work with other supervisors and didn't take constructive criticism well.

While the court dismissed the plaintiff's claims for punitive and compensatory damages, it ruled that the supervisor's remarks regarding her age and the supervisor's possible influence over the decision to terminate her employment could be viewed as age discrimination. As it result, it denied the hospital's motion for summary judgment.

Employees who suffer workplace age discrimination may benefit from having their case reviewed by an employment attorney. The attorney may assess the strength of the case and explain how to properly document incidents of discrimination. This evidence might then be used to file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or other agencies.

Source: HR Dive, "Nurse called 'kinda old and gray headed' can continue with age bias suit," Lisa Burden, Oct. 22,2018

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