Counseling professional alleges age discrimination

Kasey Schefflin-Emrich Jul. 29, 2015, 1:03pm


PITTSBURGH - A Renfrew woman is suing a health services business, alleging her age was the reason she was terminated from her counseling services job and why she was denied the opportunity to work for a branch of the U.S. military.

Jody Schultz filed a lawsuit June 29 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against Goldbelt Glacier Health Services of Alexandria, Va.,, and the Department of United States Air Force, alleging wrongful termination and failure to hire in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

According to the complaint, Schultz began working for Goldbelt in March 2013 as director of psychological health where she provided counseling services to active members of the Air Force. Despite being an outstanding performer during her employment with Goldbelt and being well-qualified, including having an active practice of mental health counseling for more than two decades and being a counselor to Air Force members since May 2011, she was terminated without cause at the end of January 2015, the suit says.

Schultz, who was 60 at the time she was terminated, alleges Goldbelt retained younger less qualified mental health professionals and treated them more favorably.

The suit also states that in fall 2014 Schultz informed the Air Force she was a candidate for hire once her contract with Goldbelt ended. After being terminated from Goldbelt, Schultz applied with the Air Force as a licensed professional counselor but was rejected with the Air Force Guard, which alleged she wasn't qualified, the lawsuit states.

Schultz contends she wasn't hired by the Air Force because of her age, alleging that her services to Guard members were always exemplary and she would have been providing the same counseling services to Guard members she had previously provided while employed by third-party contractors including Goldbelt. Moreover, she alleges the Air Force hired substantially younger and less qualified individuals during winter and early spring 2015.

Schultz seeks back and front pay, compensation for lost fringe benefits, attorney fees and court costs. She is represented by attorneys Neal A. Sanders and Dirk D. Beuth of the Law Offices of Neal A. Sanders in Butler.

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania case number 2:15-cv-00848-NBF.

More News