Professional Endodontics, P.C., a dental surgery practice based in Southfield, Mich., with three locations, violated federal law by firing an employee because of her age, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit.
According to the EEOC, Karen Ruerat had been employed as a receptionist for Professional Endodontics for more than 37 years when she was fired four days after her 65th birthday due to a company policy that mandated retirement at age 65. Such alleged conduct violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age.
The EEOC filed suit (Case No. 2:17-cv-13466 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC is seeking injunctive relief prohibiting Professional Endodontics from discriminating against other employees based on age, monetary relief including back pay and liquidated damages, and other affirmative relief for Ruerat.“Terminating an employee because he or she turns 65 is illegal,” says Miles Uhlar, trial attorney for the EEOC’s Detroit Field Office.