In the Media:
- Michigan Lawyers Weekly: "X-ray technician asserted he was targeted for firing - He pleaded dissimilar treatment as basis for discrimination" 02/25/2015
Description of Case:
GENDER AND AGE DISCRIMINATION CASE SETTLED THROUGH CASE EVALUATION FOR $225,000
Gary Sergent was a hardworking and long-term x-ray technician in the Genesee County community, who spent his last 15 years working for Defendant Hospital. Unfortunately, there was a change at the hospital such that female management started to weed out all of the older employees. This was done through a selectively enforced vicious and phantom “patient mis-identification” rule, which Defendants claimed Plaintiff and other older employees violated. This tarnished their records in such a way that if they dared choose to not retire early, then they knew they wouldn't be able to find work elsewhere in the medical community.
The phantom and selectively enforced “patient identification rule” that Defendant Hospital used to hammer the older employees was never finalized by management, even after multiple complaints and concerns were raised by the staff and union. So the unanswered question became, “Why would Defendants have a supposed safety rule to protect patients, but never properly inform anybody or train the employees who are supposed to implement the rule. In the end, there was only one answer that made sense; it was a deliberately ambiguous and amorphous rule they selectively enforced because it was a great way to terminate older employees when they wanted to.
Another problem for Defendant Hospital was they had younger employees admitting in writing to knowing what the rule required, and not following the rule. Management knew about this and never issued the younger employees any disciplines, while at the same time threatening the older employees for their violations of this very same rule. After Plaintiff and other older male employees were fired, when shown all of the disciplines, one of Defendants' decision-makers had to admit that the disciplines “seemed to be coming frequently” for these older employees.
The evidence showed that Defendant Hospital had a modus operandi/de facto policy of giving older male employees a deluge of write ups in a short period of time, and then pressuring them to resign or be fired, which is classic evidence of discrimination in the form of dissimilar treatment of similarly situated individuals.
This case settled through an Genesee County ADR panel for $225,000.
Attorneys for this case were Tom R. Pabst, Michael A. Kowalko, and Jarrett M. Pabst.
Type of Action: ELCRA Gender/sex and Age Discrimination
Injuries Alleged: Loss of income, mental anguish, emotional distress
Name of Case: Sergent v. Genesys Health Systems, et al
Court: Genesee County Circuit Court
Case No: 14-102138-CZ
Name of Judge: Judge Richard B. Yuille
Special Damages: N/A
Date of Verdict: N/A
Key to Winning: Showing Defendants' pattern of terminating older male employees by using selective enforcement of company rules/policies
Attorney for Plaintiff: Tom R. Pabst, Michael A. Kowalko, and Jarrett M. Pabst
Attorney for Defendant: Withheld