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Ex-Radiologic Tech Sues, Claiming Age Bias

April 11, 2014
Written by: , Filed in: Medical Ethics, Pediatric Radiology, Practice Management
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A radiologic technologist is suing Shriners Hospitals for Children—Philadelphia, saying that because of age discrimination, she lost her job and wasn’t considered for a permanent position.

The lawsuit was filed on March 28 in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania Record, a legal journal, reported on it earlier this month.

The suit alleges that the Shriners radiology manager, identified as William Roman, reduced the tech’s hours, fired her from her part-time job, and declined to interview her for a full-time position, all in favor of younger techs. The suit says that constituted a pattern:

These acts were part and parcel of a course of discriminatory conduct towards Plaintiff by Shriners.

Paulette Petri-Mitchell of Springfield, Pennsylvania, now 53, began working as a radiologic tech at Shriners in 2008 through a staffing agency, according to the lawsuit. In 2009, the suit says, Shriners hired Petri-Mitchell as a per diem radiologic technologist.

Early in 2013, the lawsuit says, the hospital hired two new per diem radiologic techs, both of them substantially younger and less experienced than Petri-Mitchell. Roman reduced Petri-Mitchell’s hours and “preferentially” assigned hours to the two younger employees, despite the older woman’s seniority and superior qualifications, the suit alleges.

Last summer, Roman stopped assigning hours to Petri-Mitchell, and she was terminated on August 3, the suit says. (Roman, despite being named in the suit, is not himself being sued.)

In early August 2013, the lawsuit says, Petri-Mitchell applied for a full-time radiologic tech position at Shriners. On the same day, the suit says, Roman told her he had already scheduled interviews for the position with others, including a younger tech already working in the department. Petri-Miller later learned that the job went to a 23-year-old woman, the suit says.

Petri-Miller is asking to be awarded back pay, front pay (compensation for missed wages going foward when reinstatement is not considered feasible), and unspecified compensatory damages.

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