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Do you think I should file an age discrimination lawsuit against a hospital where one of the interviewers asked my age?

Friday August 30, 2013
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Question:

Dear Nancy,

I applied to a behavioral health hospital and was granted an interview. I'm 64 years old and have 25 years nursing experience. I was notified by the nurse manager after the interview that I had to come in for a peer interview. During the peer interview, the two nurses who interviewed me didn't ask much about my experience but did ask about my family. The night nurse came right out and asked me how old I was. I told her that I didn't think that she was allowed by law to ask that question. Shortly after that, the interview was terminated. The nurses had a form with questions on it, which they didn't even bother to fill in, stating that they would do it later. Ive heard nothing since the peer interview two months ago. During the interview they disclosed they had just hired a new graduate for a position there. Ive left two voicemails for both the nurse manager and human resources department but have not heard back from anyone. How should I proceed? Do you think I should file an age discrimination lawsuit?

Abigail



Dear Nancy replies:

Dear Abigail,

It is unclear what happened to you in this situation and many of the factors that might help resolve the issue you raised were not included in your question. However, the entire process seems a bit odd.

If you believe you may not have gotten the job due to your age, you need to consult with a nurse attorney or attorney in your state who practices employment discrimination law and represents employees, former employees or applicants. You should do so as soon as possible so the attorney can evaluate this situation with the additional details you can provide and can meet any required time frames for filing a suit.

You do not need to have an attorney to file a discrimination suit, assuming you have a case. You can go to the local Equal Employment Opportunity Office (EEOC) and file a charge on your own. The EEOC has a helpful step-by-step guide available: www.eeoc.gov/employees/howtofile.cfm. The guide is developed for employees as well as for job applicants. After evaluating the circumstances, the EEOC will either dismiss your claim or will issue you a "Right to Sue" letter. Then you will need to hire an attorney to file the case and represent you. When you visit the EEOC home page, also click on "Age Discrimination" on the left side of the page for further information about this claim.

If you are serious about exploring the possibility of an age discrimination case, you should do so as soon as possible because specific time frames exist for when the claim must be filed with the EEOC as well

Cordially,
Nancy




Nancy J. Brent, RN, MS, JD, is an attorney in private practice in Wilmette, Ill. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal or any other advice. The reader is encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney or other professional when an opinion is needed.