Overview: In Mayer v. Boston Children’s Hospital, the MCAD found in favor of the Respondent and dismissed the complaint accusing the hospital of terminating a sixty-four-year-old nurse due to age-based discrimination. The hearing officer found no direct evidence of discriminatory animus in stray remarks apparently made to the Complainant, such as compliments for having youthful looks and energy for a person of her age.
Although the Complainant satisfied the elements of a prima facie case for discrimination based on age, the Respondent met its burden of production by showing legitimate reasons that the Complainant’s dismissal was not discriminatory. The hearing officer credited evidence of three separate lapses in clinical performance over a five-month span, followed by a violation in hospital policy when the Complainant told a woman seeking medical care to find an adult hospital instead. The Respondent had previously terminated a twenty-seven-year-old nurse for threatening a coworker and shouting obscenities without any prior discipline, a noteworthy contrast to the Complainant’s lengthy disciplinary record.
Decision Date: March 24, 2016
Docket Number: 11-WEM-03017
Hearing Officer: Betty E. Waxman
Claims: Employment discrimination based on age
Prevailing Party: Respondent
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