Hawaii HealthCare Professionals Ordered to Pay over $190,000 for Age Discrimination

The Hawaii Healthcare Professionals, Inc., and its owner have been ordered to pay $193,236 to a woman allegedly fired due to her age. The U.S. District Judge Alan C. Kay ordered a default judgment against the company. The judgment resolves an age discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC against the Honolulu-based home health care services company in 2010. Debra Moreno, a then-54-year-old office coordinator at its Maui facility, was terminated in 2008 by the company’s owner, Carolyn Frutoz-De Harne. According to the lawsuit filed by the EEOC, Frutoz-De Harne ordered that Moreno be fired after telling the manager that Moreno “looks old,” “sounds old on the telephone,” and is “like a bag of bones.” After the termination, the manager reported the ageist comments to Moreno, who in turn filed a discrimination charge with the EEOC. Full Article

Retaliating against individuals who oppose what they believe to be discriminatory conduct on the basis of age (40 years of age or older) violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The ADEA’s protections apply to both employees and job applicants. Under the ADEA, it is unlawful to discriminate against a person because of his/her age with respect to any term, condition, or privilege of employment, including hiring, firing, promotion, layoff, compensation, benefits, job assignments, and training. The ADEA permits employers to favor older workers based on age even when doing so adversely affects a younger worker who is 40 or older. It is illegal for an employer to refuse to promote an employee because she filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC, even if EEOC later determined no discrimination occurred. The law forbids retaliation when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.

The attorneys at Leeds Morelli & Brown, P.C., dedicate a large amount of their practice to discrimination claims. For any questions, contact an attorney at the Leeds Brown Law, P.C. law firm for a free consultation at 1-800-585-4658. Leeds Brown Law, P.C.’s website is located at www.lmblaw.com.