Age Discrimination by Medical Group Imposing Mandatory Retirement Age

Scripps Clinical Medical Group recently settled an age and disability discrimination charge filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The federal agency investigated the allegations and found that the company violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by imposing a mandatory retirement age on physicians, regardless of their abilities to perform their jobs.

To settle the case, Scripps Clinical Medical Group entered into a four-year conciliation agreement with the EEOC. The company will pay $6,875,000 to a class of individuals impacted by the mandatory retirement policy. Additionally, the company has rescinded the policy, and the Board of Directors will reaffirm this action.

Scripps Clinical Medical Group will inform employees that the company does not have any policy in which age is a factor in making employment decisions. The company will also review, revise, and distribute its policies and procedures against discrimination based on age and disability. Moreover, it will require division heads, department heads, executive leadership, and members of human resources to attend training on the ADEA and ADA. The EEOC will monitor compliance with this agreement.

The EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows emphasized the importance of protecting older workers and identified discrimination against them as one of the Commission’s priorities in its new Strategic Enforcement Plan. Anna Y. Park, the regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office, commended Scripps Clinical Medical Group for addressing the concerns in this charge and for rescinding its discriminatory policy.

Jacquelyn Famber, director of the EEOC’s San Diego Office, noted that mandatory retirement age based on assumptions and stereotypes is against the law, and the EEOC will continue to pursue such discriminatory policies. Older workers are valuable members of our workforce, and their age should not be used to make employment-based decisions.

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