Pennsylvania Hospital Sued For Employee Age Discrimination

Lisa Pompa filed a lawsuit against her former employers – St. Luke’s Hospital, Blue Mountain Hospital, and St. Luke’s University Health Network – in the Middle District of Pennsylvania last Friday. The lawsuit was filed due to the plaintiff’s belief that her employment with the defendant was terminated due to her age. 

Pompa asserted that the hospital’s action is a direct violation of both the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA). She maintained that throughout 34 years of employment with the defendants and their predecessors, her performance record remained outstanding.

In 2004, according to the filing, the plaintiff began her employment with Blue Mountain Health System (BMHS). The employment continued through to 2018 when St. Luke’s acquired BMHS, meaning that Pompa was now employed by St. Luke’s. Prior to 2004, Pompa had worked for BMHS’ predecessor, Gnaden Huetten Memorial Hospital, for twenty years. She was employed by the companies as a cardiopulmonary rehabilitation therapist and exercise physiologist, her main roles being to provide “clinical care and therapy to patients suffering from a variety of cardiac and pulmonary diseases.” 

Upon her transition to being employed by St. Luke’s, she was given the title of Manager of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and reported to the Director of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, William Merkert. Pompa contended that Merkert discriminated against her because of her age, creating a hostile work environment.

On December 20, 2018, Pompa was suspended from her job without pay pending investigation into claims that she had acted in an insubordinate manner to Merkert. Her suspension continued until January 8, 2019, when St. Luke’s informed her that her employment with them was terminated due to her alleged insubordination. In actuality, the plaintiff believes that she was fired “in retaliation for recent complaints of age discrimination, and the reasons asserted by St. Luke’s for suspending and firing Plaintiff were pretexts for retaliation prohibited by the ADEA and the PHRA.”

The aforementioned violations have led the plaintiff to seek declarations of the violations, an order enjoining the defendant from committing further violations, back and front pay or reinstatement, liquidated and compensatory damages, litigation fees, interest, and any other relief that the Court will provide.

The plaintiff is represented by Sidkoff, Pincus & Green.