Scripps Clinic to pay out close to $7 million re: age discrimination of older docs

The following is from Medpage Today.

Health system policies that force older doctors to retire at a certain age may soon be history after the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s decision this week targeting Scripps Clinic Medical Group in San Diego.

Under the agreement, the 750-physician group based in La Jolla, California, will pay affected doctors a total of $6.875 million.

The agency said the group’s 2014 policy, which required doctors age 75 and older to retire, violated federal laws barring age discrimination.

A spokeswoman for the medical group, Michelle Setterberg, said the 2014 policy “was put in place to enhance patient safety.” It was and is allowed by a specific California government code that lets medical groups establish 70 as a mandatory retirement age.

Setterberg said the EEOC took the position that while such a policy is expressly legal under California law, it is not allowed under federal law, and the medical group rescinded the age cutoff in 2018 after it came under EEOC review.

She emphasized that Scripps Clinic doctors “do not believe our policy was unlawful, but did not wish to be involved in litigation with the EEOC.”

She declined to say how many doctors were forced to retire under the policy, or how many doctors will receive the settlement money, but said it was very few.

She added that by age 75, “most doctors have retired and those who have not almost always have voluntarily limited their practice.”

The EEOC agreement specified that the group was not admitting liability.

In a press release, the agency’s chair, Charlotte A. Burrows, noted that because many people remain in the workplace longer, “it is critical for employers to understand the ADEA’s [Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967] protections for older workers. For that reason, the Commission has included discrimination against older workers among the priorities identified in its new Strategic Enforcement Plan.”

Issues involving the competency of older physicians have been a growing concern as the nation recovers from the pandemic, a time when many doctors decided to leave practice but many older doctors have stayed on. (Continued…)

Read more here.

Visit The Sharyl Attkisson Store today

Shop Now

Unique gifts for independent thinkers

Proceeds benefit independent journalism

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top