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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



PRESS RELEASE
8-1-13

EEOC Sues Weirton Medical Center for Age and Disability Discrimination

Hospital  Refused Job to Man Because of Perceived Disability, Federal Agency Says

WEIRTON, W.V.  -- Weirton Medical Center, a community hospital in Weirton, W.V., refused to select  a long-time employee for a vacant maintenance department position because of  his age and perceived disability, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity  Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it announced today.

According to the EEOC's suit, Paul  Ayers, who is a linen technician employee of Weirton Medical Center, applied  for an available multi-craftsman assistant position.  Ayers, who was 48 years old at the time, had a  back impairment at the time he applied for the job.  The EEOC charges that the Weirton Medical  Center's maintenance director, who interviewed Ayers, has made various oral and  written statements indicating that Ayers was not hired for the job because of  his age and because he was regarded as disabled.   

Such  conduct violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) and  the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).  The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Weirton Medical Center, Civil Action No. 5:13-cv-00097) in  U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia after first  attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through its  conciliation process. 

"Rejecting a long-time employee for a vacant  position for which he is well qualified simply because of his age and perceived  disability is not just bad for employee morale, it's a clear violation of  federal law," said EEOC District Director Spencer H. Lewis, Jr.

EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M.  Lawrence added, "The EEOC is committed to ensuring that employees and  applicants will be fairly assessed on their ability to do a job, and not  wrongfully ex­cluded due to myths or biases about age or perceived  disabilities."

The EEOC's Philadelphia  District Office oversees Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and  parts of New Jersey and Ohio. 

The EEOC enforces federal laws  prohibiting employment discrimination.   Further information about the Commission is available at its website, www.eeoc.gov.