Lawsuit alleges St. Vincent engaged in age discrimination

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A former physician for St. Vincent Carmel Hospital who specialized in infant care has filed a federal lawsuit that accuses her former employer, St. Vincent Health Inc., of age discrimination.

The lawsuit alleges St. Vincent engaged in a practice of “pushing out employees over the age of 40 and hiring substantially younger employees,” including terminating neonatologist Anne Marnocha, in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

A St. Vincent spokeswoman declined to comment, saying the hospital system does not discuss pending litigation.

According to the complaint, Marnocha, now 63, who had been hired at St. Vincent in 1987 and practiced in pediatrics taking care of newborn infants, served as medical director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Carmel.

In 2017, St. Vincent hired a new CEO of its pediatrics division, Dr. Hossain Marandi, who the lawsuit alleges was “substantially younger than Dr. Marnocha.” Marandi is 48, according to IBJ research. Months later, the new pediatrics CEO informed Marnocha she was terminated.

“Defendant’s stated reason for terminating Dr. Marnocha was that it had too many neonatologists; that it was eliminating her position; and that it intended to have neonatologists from its Women’s Hospital/86th Street campus work at its Carmel campus,” according to the complaint.

St. Vincent informed Marnocha she could apply for one open position at the Women’s Hospital, but the lawsuit alleges she was not hired for the position “in favor of another applicant who is substantially younger than her.”

The lawsuit said the hospital hired multiple neonatologists throughout 2017 who were substantially younger than Marnocha to work at the Women’s Hospital.

As a result of what the lawsuit calls “unlawful adverse employment actions” against her, the lawsuit states Marnocha suffered damages, including lost wages, and was deprived of equal employment opportunities. 

The lawsuit asks that Marnocha be reinstated to a same or similar position with equal pay and seniority, or provide her pay and benefits in lieu of her reinstatement. She also seeks lost wages and benefits, damages and attorney' costs.

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