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Hospital Employee Awarded $4.5 Million After Reporting Discrimination, Retaliation

A hospital employee who filed a lawsuit alleging age and disability discrimination and employer retaliation was awarded $4.45 million. He filed the suit against his former employer, Grinnell Regional Medical Center, and the award included $220,009 in back pay, $2 million in emotional distress damages and $2.28 million for future emotional distress damages.

According to the evidence presented in the case, the plaintiff had been a long-term employee of the Medical Center who was promoted to lab director in 1985. He regularly received positive performance reviews and pay raises during his employment. In late 2013, he was diagnosed with breast cancer and took some time off from work to receive treatment, returning to his position in March 2014 on a part-time basis.

In June 2014, administrators at the hospital asked the plaintiff to retire, claiming the hospital needed someone in the position who could work full time. The man asked to keep working, writing in an email that his work was helping him to keep his mind off his cancer. Doctors expected him to make a full recovery by the end of 2014, at which time he would be able to resume full-time work. The hospital ultimately suspended him until he was able to return full-time in October 2014. He then worked in his position until June 2015, when he was fired.

The hospital claimed it fired the plaintiff because he did not adequately manage the lab and its employees. However, the plaintiff alleged he was fired because of his age (63), his disability and his protected activity. The jury sided with the plaintiff, finding the hospital violated Iowa state laws against discrimination and retaliation.

Retaliation prohibited by federal government

Employers are strongly prohibited by the federal government from retaliating against employees who blow the whistle about internal wrongdoing. There are many protections in place for whistleblowers, including anti-retaliation measures and various systems by which whistleblowers can get their jobs back and/or recover a significant amount of money.

For more information about the best steps for you to take after you have become a victim of employer retaliation, contact a skilled Dallas lawyer today at Whistleblower Law for Managers.


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