Former Persante Health Employee Claims He Was Furloughed And Later Fired Because of Age Discrimination

On Thursday a case was filed in the District Court of New Jersey by Edward Feeney against his former employer Persante Health Care alleging violations of the ADA and age discrimination in the work place.

The plaintiff is reportedly over 65 and has health problems. The plaintiff was employed by Persante Health Care as a sleep technologist. In 2019, the plaintiff was transferred from doing in hospital sleep studies to the home sleep test division as a Clinical HST Manager/Sleep Technologist. Under this program, the plaintiff prepared, sent out, and received sleep tests that were completed in patients’ homes. 

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the plaintiff was granted permission to work from home. Due to the lack of in-patient sleep tests and a surge in the number of home test requests, two other sleep technicians were assigned to the home sleep test division. 

In April 2020, the plaintiff was furloughed, the complaint said this occurred even though his work could continue to be performed from home and the other two technicians continued to work as the division was busy. In June, 2020, the plaintiff was recalled from furlough, but discovered that three other people had been hired and trained during his furlough to perform the same tasks as the plaintiff.

At the end of June, the plaintiff was assigned to return to in-office work. The plaintiff requested an accommodation to continue to work from home due to his medical condition, which could have resulted in increased vulnerability to COVID-19. His request was granted and the plaintiff and several other technicians continued to work from home.

In January, the plaintiff was informed that the division was being restructured. The plaintiff requested that he continue to work from home due to medical condition, but instead was informed that his position was eliminated. The other technicians continued to perform the same work as the plaintiff and from a work from home position. The plaintiff was the oldest technician and there were several openings that the defendant continued to advertise which could have accommodated the plaintiff.

The plaintiff is suing for violation of the ADA for failure to accommodate, age discrimination under the ADEA, and the New Jersey State Equivalents. The plaintiff is represented by Karpf, Karpf & Cerutti.