A jury has awarded $4.5 million to a former employee who sued an Iowa hospital for age bias and retaliation.
The jury’s July 24 decision came after a 10-day trial of Grinnell Regional Medical Center and two administrators. The lawsuit states that the hospital fired the man in June 2015 from his post as lab director while in remission from breast cancer and hired a younger replacement.
It is believed that the man was targeted because he’d declined an order to retire following his initial diagnosis in November 2013.
The hospital’s attorneys deny the firing and subsequent hiring of a new director had anything to do with the man’s age or cancer diagnosis. A hospital spokeswoman says the hospital intends to appeal.
Discrimination in the workplace is not only unfair, but also illegal. There are several different federal laws that offer protection from discrimination based on disability, race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Age discrimination has its own unique set of laws called the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Job applicants and employees who are over the age of 40 are usually covered by the ADEA.
Under the ADEA, it is unlawful to discriminate against a person over 40 because of their age when it comes to:
- job assignments
Moreover, employees who speak out against age discrimination have legal protection from retaliation.