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Tests Imposed on Medical Staff 70+ Age Discrimination According to EEOC

Yale New Haven Hospital has a policy called the “Late Career Practitioner Policy” that requires all individuals 70 years and older who apply or seek to renew their staff privileges to take both neuropsychological and eye medical examinations. Persons under 70 years of age are not subject to these requirements. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has taken the position that this policy is age-based discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. The EEOC also included a claim for disability discrimination because the hospital subjected employees to medical examinations that are not job-related and consistent with business necessity.
According to media reports, it was difficult to find concrete information about the impact of the test results. It is known that most of the medical staff did pass the tests in the prior year, although some had to take the test a second time. The EEOC asserts that the tests are “solely on the basis of their age, without any suspicion that their neuropsychological ability may have declined.” It asserts that other non-discriminatory methods exist to ensure the competence of the medical staff.
Yale New Haven Hospital has responded to the suit. The hospital contends that the policy protects patients from potential harm and has safeguards to ensure that medical staff is treated fairly.