NYC Health + Hospitals accused of age discrimination in lawsuit

Jeffrey Wallach, a 67-year-old former employee of New York City-based NYC Health + Hospitals, has filed a class-action lawsuit alleging the public health system targeted employees 40 and older when it cut approximately 400 management positions on June 2, 2017. 

The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan July 5, 2018, alleges 86.3 percent of terminated employees, including Mr. Wallach, were older than 40, even though such managers constitute 80.4 percent of the organization's manager workforce.

"The centralized HHC leadership decided which employees to terminate and chose to terminate specific employees, upon information and belief, because of their age," the lawsuit states. "These terminations were the result of HHC's discriminatory policies, patterns, and/or practices to target older employees."

Mr. Wallach claims the system's actions violate the New York City Human Rights Law. He seeks applicable damages on behalf of himself and other older formerly employed managers.

NYC Health + Hospitals confirmed receipt of the lawsuit, but said it needed time to review it.

The system has struggled financially and anticipated saving $60 million in fiscal year 2018 as a result of the June 2017 job cuts. The cuts were part of its overall management structure redesign, which it said was "to create a more efficient and financially sustainable organization that can direct resources where we need them most — at the front line of patient care." The system has said the cuts did not affect services or patient care, quality or safety.

NYC Health + Hospitals also cut 35 central office administrative jobs in March as part of an overall plan to reduce administrative costs.


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