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Lawsuit: KU Medical Center fired employee who reported discriminatory hiring practices

Top 5 workplace violations, according to OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited 31,643 workplace violations nationwide between September 2017 and October 2018. Here are the top 5 standards that were violated and the parts of those standards that were cited the most.
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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited 31,643 workplace violations nationwide between September 2017 and October 2018. Here are the top 5 standards that were violated and the parts of those standards that were cited the most.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, EEOC, is suing the University of Kansas after it says an employee was fired in retaliation for reporting discriminatory hiring practices to management.

The suit, filed in federal district court for Kansas on Friday, alleges age discrimination in hiring practices within the information resources department at the University of Kansas Medical Center, KUMC.

KUMC said it couldn’t comment on pending litigation but spokesperson Kay Hawes provided this statement:

“The University of Kansas Medical Center is committed to the inclusion of all members of our campus community and takes very seriously its responsibility to prevent and eliminate discrimination. The university strives to foster an environment where its employees feel comfortable and are protected when speaking up and reporting complaints of discrimination.”

According to the suit, in 2014 the associate vice chancellor for information resources at the University of Kansas Medical Center told managers and directors in his department to primarily hire millennial and young people for open positions.

Jeffrey Thomas, an assistant associate director in the department, reported those statements to the higher administration after a colleague told him she had been unable to hire a woman because she was 60 years old, the lawsuit said.

He reported those concerns again to human resources the next month.

After sending his report, the lawsuit said, managers received an email regarding reorganization of the department that changed who Thomas would report to.

The next week, however, Harmelink told Thomas his position was being eliminated, according to the suit.

The EEOC is seeking liquidated damages, an order preventing future retaliation and monetary relief for Thomas.

“Hiring discrimination is one of the most difficult types of employment discrimination to identify because applicants almost never know the reason they were not selected for a job,” said Andrea G. Baran, the EEOC’s regional attorney in St. Louis, in a statement. “Individuals like Mr. Thomas should be com­mended – and protected from retaliation – for standing up against discriminatory hiring practices.”

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Katie Bernard covers Kansas crime, cops and courts for the Kansas City Star. She joined the Star in May of 2019. Katie studied journalism and political science at the University of Kansas.
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