Feds Sue Yale Hospital for Age Discrimination of Older Clinicians

According to the Hartford Courant in Connecticut, the federal government has filed an age-discrimination lawsuit against Yale New Haven Hospital because the hospital requires that all medical staff 70-years of age and older must pass and eye test and a cognitive examination.

The lawsuit filed by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Council in federal court asserts that the tests discriminate. While everyone who seeks staff privileges at the hospital must undergo a peer review examination every two years, only those people 70 and older must undergo the eye and cognitive review tests. The tests for 70-year and older workers was implemented by the hospital four years ago.

The EEOC lawsuit claims that the two extra tests are required even though there is no “suspicion that their neuropsychological ability may have declined.” Because the tests directly affect staff privileges which in turn affect the ability to work, the EEOC states that the tests constitute age-based employment discrimination.

The attorney for the EEOC states that while the policy may have good intent, there are other ways, non-discriminatory ways, to handle the concerns about competence.

The hospital claims that its policy is similar to that in other industries and is designed to protect patients from harm. It says it will defend the lawsuit.

The EEOC claims that the hospital had tested 145 members 70 and older with mixed results especially when some of the hospital workers were given the cognitive test the second time. Of the 145 people given the test – one failed, one was labeled deficient, and 14 were borderline deficient. 5 either resigned, refused to take the test, or changed their employment status to one that didn’t require the testing. 80 passed the test and 38 received a “qualified pass.”

Of the 21 people who took the cognitive test a second time, all but one passed or had a “qualified pass.” The one who failed “was listed as ‘need to have a discussion regarding modifying his duties to simple coverage because of his findings.’”

The California Law Offices of Stephen A. Danz and Associates has close to 40 years’ experience fighting for the rights of employees. We work with the EEOC and we file personal lawsuits when age-discrimination or any type of discrimination occurs. To review if you have an employment-discrimination case, call us at 877-789-9707 or fill out our online contact form. Se habla espanol.