Legal Eagle Eye Newsletter for the Nursing Profession(5)6 June 97  PDF Version 

   Quick Summary: There is no age discrimination if the hospital is motivated by economic necessity and guided by business judgment. Layoffs were based strictly on job classification, employment status, prior job experience, seniority and licensure and/or certification.

   This employee could not prove the hospital was motivated by an intent to discriminate against her.  UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS, EIGHTH CIRCUIT (MISSOURI), 1997.


   No employment discrimination will be found in a hospital’s decision to eliminate certain employees in a reduction in force, if the decision is based strictly on job classifications and is not motivated by race, nationality, age or gender, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (Missouri) has ruled.

   A sixty-year-old woman of Filipino origin saw her position eliminated. She sued for employment discrimination, but her suit was dismissed by the court. The hospital convinced the court her blood gas technician position was eliminated while the position of pulmonary function technologist was retained because the skills of pulmonary function technologists are more advanced and more comprehensive. This made the retention of blood gas technicians redundant and a poor exercise of economic business judgment. Herrero vs. St. Louis University Hospital, 109 F. 3d 481 (8th Cir., 1997).