EEOC: Hospital Forced Out Older Nurses

A hospital in western Colorado could be on the hook for monetary damages if its alleged mistreatment of older nurses turns out to be true.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced on Friday that has filed sit against Montrose Memorial Hospital, a hospital in Montrose, western Colorado, accusing it of violating the Age Discrimination in Employment Act by firing employees or forcing them to resign because of their age.

According to EEOC’s lawsuit, Katherine Casias worked as a licensed practical nurse and registered nurse for 27 years with the hospital before Montrose fired her, accusing her of performance defici­encies for which younger nurses were treated much more leniently.

This was against the backdrop of hospital managers making ageist comments, including that younger nurses could “dance around the older nurses” and that they preferred younger and “fresher” nurses, the EEOC charged. EEOC seeks relief for Casias and a group of employees, aged 40 and older, who were fired or forced to resign due to their ages.

“Research shows that pervasive stereotypes about older workers still persist – for example, there are widespread stereotypes that older workers are less motivated, flexible, or trusting and that a younger workforce is preferable,” said Phoenix District EEOC Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill.  “These stereotypes are flatly untrue and must be recognized for what they are – prejudice and false assumptions.”

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