Two Cases that Stood Out this Week involved a Million Dollar Settlement for FMLA Violation as well as Gender and Age Discrimination Claims

The first case was brought by a former laundry room employee of Avalon Health Care, a rehabilitation and medical care company serving over forty one long term care communities in five states.   Her claims included allegations that her former employer allowed her coworkers to harass her with comments pertaining to her abortion and then even fired her when she requested time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  The leave requested was after Plaintiff’s doctor recommended that she take time off due to her stressful work environment.  Because only her employer knew that she had taken time off to attend to appointments at Planned Parenthood, the Plaintiff alleged that the employer leaked her medical information as well as not responded when she complained to her supervisors that she was being physically and emotionally harassed by her coworkers.

Another interesting case this week was a $1,000,000 dollar settlement by a medical device company by the name of PMT Corporation.  The company was accused of discriminatory conduct by not hiring women over age 40 for its outside sales positions.  Hence, the company allegedly violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for gender discrimination as well as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act for age discrimination.  Interestingly, the person who reported the information was a human resources specialist at the company.  What made the Complaint strong was the fact that from 2007 to 2010, PMT Corporation hired more than 70 people as outside sales representatives but not one of them was a female over 40.  This “pattern or practice” of discrimination was enough to place the burden on the corporation.  As result, and similar to most of these cases, the corporation settled instead of risking the case going in front of a jury and opening itself up to other financial risk such as punitive damages.  See these other similar settlements in our dedicated blog area.

If you witness any potential discriminatory conduct such as harassing treatment due to a coworkers’ age, sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, or handicap by your company, or anyone is retaliated against for voicing a concern about potential wrongdoing, immediate action is crucial.  Contact the experienced employment law attorneys at Stephen Danz & Associates for a free consultation to discuss your circumstances and legal options.