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Former Employee Sues Monongalia County General Hospital for Age Discrimination

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Alleging that he was wrongly fired, a former longtime employee of Monongalia County General Hospital has filed a lawsuit against the hospital. John Sansone had worked as a monitor technician in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital for over 30 years. In his lawsuit, he claims that the harassment began in 2012, when he received a new supervisor, Mary Jo Sabatelli. Sansone described being subjected to a stream of negative and insulting comments from Sabatelli, as well as manufactured disciplinary write-ups for policy violations that did not actually occur. Sansone alleges that Sabatelli sought to create a hostile work environment so that Sansone would quit, to the advantage of a younger technician in his department whom Sabatelli favored. Sansone also claims that the hospital’s CEO leads the effort to force older employees out of their positions. Sansone is suing for both compensatory and punitive damages.

Under the West Virginia Human Rights Act, private employers over a certain size and public employers of any size are barred from discriminating against certain protected classes of individuals in the workplace. One of those protected groups is individuals over 40 years of age. An employee who feels that he or she has been paid differently, promoted less often, or given worse job conditions based only on the fact that he or she is older, may have a claim for age discrimination against their employer. Courts will look to see whether the employee alleging discrimination was qualified for the job, whether they were subject to an adverse employment action (such as being demoted or fired) without much of a basis, and whether the employee was replaced by someone who was substantially younger. Other persuasive age discrimination evidence could include proof that people in management made derogatory comments about the employee’s age, that younger people with similar levels of experience were treated differently, that younger and less-qualified people were not fired when an older person was, or that there are a number of older people at the place of employment who are also in dead-end jobs.

If you are an employee in southern West Virginia and believe that you may be the victim of age discrimination in the workplace, contact an attorney to find out if you may be owed compensation for that discriminatory treatment. Contact the Princeton, West Virginia offices of the Bayless Law Firm for knowledgeable and experienced help with your employment law and discrimination claims. Call today for a free consultation on your claims: 800-359-2356.

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