Dental Practice Fired Dental Hygienists Because of Age, Federal Agency Charged
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Capital City Dental Care, a dental practice headquartered in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania suburb of Camp Hill, will pay $100,000 and furnish significant equitable relief to settle a federal age discrimination lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.
EEOC charged that after a new owner purchased the dental practice, it fired eight out of nine dental hygienists older than 40, based on their ages. Capital City Dental Care later replaced the older hygienists with 14 employees, 13 of whom were under age 40.
Such alleged conduct violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), which prohibits discrimination against people who are age 40 or older.
The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Michael A. Sisk, DDS, LLC, d/b/a/ Capital City Dental Care, Civil Action No. 1:19-cv-00804-SHR) in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, after first attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC’s investigation began when five of the terminated dental hygienists filed charges with the EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office.
In addition to providing lost wages and other monetary relief, the four-year consent decree resolving the suit enjoins Capital City Dental Care from engaging in age discrimination and retaliation. The dental practice will implement an updated policy against discrimination, with an emphasis on preventing age discrimination, and a complaint procedure. The company will provide training on the ADEA, post a notice of employee rights under the ADEA, and report to the EEOC on its compliance with the consent decree.
“Capital City Dental Care worked with us to resolve this matter amicably,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence. “In addition to the monetary relief, this settlement has meaningful policy changes to protect workers from age discrimination.”
EEOC Philadelphia District Director Jamie R. Williamson added, “Workers should be judged on their abilities, not age. This resolution reminds employers that the EEOC is committed to ending age discrimination in the workplace.”
The EEOC's Philadelphia District Office has jurisdiction over Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and parts of New Jersey and Ohio. Attorneys in the EEOC Philadelphia District Office also prosecute discrimination cases in Washington, D.C. and parts of Virginia.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.