Axed receptionist sues UPMC Community Medicine claiming wrongful termination

By Carol Ostrow | Nov 12, 2015

A Mercer woman is suing her former Pittsburgh employer claiming age discrimination and violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and Pennsylvania Human Relations Act in connection with her job loss.

Patricia Burk of Mercer sued UPMC Community Medicine Inc. (CMI), doing business in Grove City and other Pennsylvania locales, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania on Oct. 14, claiming unlawful discharge from her position in July 2014.

According to the complaint, Burk was hired to work as a receptionist for Family Health Care Partners from Jan. 5, 2009, until July 1, 2014, when the company was purchased by the defendant. Burk continued in the same position as a full-time office assistant for CMI effective July 1, 2014, having allegedly been informed that no employees would be terminated in the transition.

The lawsuit states that on or about June 10, 2014, the defendant ordered the plaintiff to acquire a GED diploma or face termination. Burk, then age 63, contends that she did not need to complete the task since she had performed her job adequately for five years without the certificate; and that she was terminated on or about July 18, 2014.

The plaintiff argues that she was dismissed because of her age and that the defendant violated the ADEA. Claiming lost wages, benefits, future earnings and front pay, along with humiliation and loss of self-esteem, Burk filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.

The plaintiff seeks monetary and compensatory damages, interest, attorneys’ fees, and court costs. She is represented by Neal Sanders and Dirk Beuth of the Law Office of Neal A. Sanders in Butler.

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania 2:15-cv-01337-DSC

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