Hospital to Pay $400K to Settle EEOC Age Discrimination Suit

EEOC says Montrose Memorial Hospital fired or forced 29 workers ages 40 and older to resign

Montrose Memorial Hospital of Montrose, Colorado, has agreed to pay $400,000 to settle an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) age discrimination lawsuit.

EEOC charged the hospital with violating federal law by firing or forcing 29 employees ages 40 and older to resign. The agency said the hospital accused those who were fired of having been deficient in their performance but did not apply the same standards to younger employees.

The EEOC suit also alleged that hospital managers made ageist comments, including that younger nurses could “dance around the older nurses” and that they preferred younger and “fresher” nurses.

EEOC notes that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects people 40 and older from employment discrimination based on age.

As part of the settlement, Montrose is now required to conduct annual anti-discrimination training for its employees, managers, supervisors and human resources employees. The hospital must also revise and distribute its anti-discrimination policy, and report any complaints of age discrimination to the EEOC.

As people are living longer and wanting to work longer, and to mark the ADEA’s 50th anniversary, last June, the EEOC held a meeting about the ADEA in which witnesses made suggestions about how regulators and employers can reduce age discrimination and help people work longer.