Discrimination is normally based on race, religion, sex, age among other factors. Being an assault to the very foundation of human development, both individual nations, regional bodies and the words at large have come up with special legislations to address the vice. This write up endeavors to give an illustration of one discrimination case that has been decided in a court or a jury in the past 3 years. The specific case chosen is that of age discrimination obtained from an article on the order given on 16th of February, 2011 to a University Hospital to pay close to 1$ million in an age discrimination law suit. The article was published on Thursday, February 17, 2011.
In this case, the University hospital had been ordered to pay a Euclid woman $ 900, 000 after she had filed an age discrimination suit against the University. Goria Parks had sued the University claiming that the university had fired her from the job on the basis of age. Having worked for the University for 30 years, Parks was by then 56 years old. The jury gave their ruling which stating that Gloria Park blame was unwarranted because the termination of her employment was as result of patient mix-up. Parks had rightfully claimed that she was singled out for the blame while her other younger colleagues who were involved in the same incidence went on with their work as usual. The case took more than a week in Cuyaga County Common Pleas Court before the verdict was finally returned on Wednesday February, 16th 2011 (Atassi, 2011).
The Events Surrounding the Case
Park had been an employee in the department of the University’s hospitals pre-admission testing department. She had filed the suit in the year 2009 claiming that Steve Diltz who was her supervisor had been found of discriminating older women employees in the department while giving a special treatment to the younger ones. She claimed that her termination was not a surprise to her younger colleagues who confessed of having heard Diltz stating in several occasions that he wanted to change the face of the department (Atassi, 2011).
According to Attassi (2011), Diltz had taken advantage of the mix-up that happened in July 2008 to execute his long term plan. The confusion occurred when Charles Reed, a patient who was to be added blood in another department, unknowingly reported to pre-admission testing department. At the same time, another patients who had similar names- Charles Reed- and was preparing for a liver surgery also came for blood test at the same time.
Atassi (2011) explained that it is the medical assistant who went against the hospital policy which requires any employees who comes in to contact with the patient to use different methods which allows the verification of the patient’s identity. Barone-Hake (2011) also asserts that the intake medical assistant had failed to properly identify Reed on his arrival. She therefore misplaced a chart that was meant for the other patient with the similar name on the rack where Parks simply picked it up.
Unknowingly, Parks used the same blood sample when performing an EKG on the patient and sent her to consult with a nurse attending at the anesthesia who also failed to verify the identification forms. (Atassi, 2011) reports that the confusion went on till Reed raised an alarm that he was not due for a liver surgery. It is at this point that the nurse realized that they had been dealing with a wrong patient. However, Atassi (2011) notes that Parks acted according by ensuring that she helped the patients to find the correct department and that the mix-up in the blood was corrected and did not cause further confusion.
Unexpectedly, Diltz, Parks’s Supervisor, alleged to Parks that the patient had complained. However, it was found out that the supervisor never carried out any investigation to ascertain his claims. He fired her and quickly replaced her with two younger medical assistants, something that pointed to age discrimination (Barone-Hake, 2011).
In describing the error involved as extreme form of misconduct, the hospital surprisingly supported the actions that had been taken by Diltz without carrying out any investigation. The hospital claimed that Parks had failed to consider the patient’s several warnings and knowingly altered the patient’s file to cover her mistakes. Interestingly, upon raising her grievances with the relevant panel, it was agreed that her expulsion was necessary with the hospital spokeswoman stating, during an interview, that the hospital stood behind its decision to fire her and was ready to appeal the verdict by the jury (Atassi, 2011).
I agree with Ellen Simon that the employers must not completely trust their supervisors if the practice of company discrimination is to be rooted out. It is sad that the University supported Diltz decision without carrying out any investigation on his claims. Such actions as was seen in the case of Parks can make it impossible to secure any form of employment with another company and therefore should never be taken lightly. This is s clear case of discrimination as the other Parks’s colleagues who were involved in the same incidence continued enjoying their work untouched.