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Does a 61-year-old RN, with an unblemished record, have a case for age discrimination after being terminated based on false accusations?

Monday August 11, 2014
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Question:

Dear Nancy

I am 61 years old. I have worked 26 years for a hospital and have had excellent evaluations. Ive had no write-up or verbal warning in that time. I am certified in my specialty and involved in many professional organizations. A new manager terminated me with 13 allegations, all false, ranging from bullying to insubordination. A young inexperience RN replaced me. Do I have a case for discrimination?


Sara



Dear Nancy replies:

Dear Sara,

Your firing needs to be evaluated by a nurse attorney or attorney who practices employment law and represents employees. The details you shared in your question may suggest discrimination on the basis of age, which is a violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Since you are over 40, this federal law protects you from a firing solely on the basis of your age.

The false allegations against you also are troubling and appear to be used to serve as the basis for your termination. Your excellent employment record there should clearly counter those allegations and raise a question as to the merits of the termination.

You should seek a consultation as soon as possible since time limitations exist for filing a complaint and/or case that you must meet if potential discrimination occurred. Your attorney can advise you of how to proceed in this matter, including the filing of a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
You can learn more about the ADEA by going to www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/adea.cfm. The menu on the left side of that page includes links to an Overview of the Act, Prohibited Practices and Discrimination by Type (click on Age), among other information categories.

Regards,
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.