Federal Agency Charges That Hospital Denied Former Female Employee Promotion Because of Sex and Retaliated Against Her After Filing EEOC Complaint
INDIANAPOLIS – Ephraim McDowell Health, Inc. (EMH), headquartered in Danville, Kentucky, violated federal law by denying a female employee a promotion because of her sex and retaliated against her after she filed a discrimination charge, the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, the employee was told by EMH’s CEO that she would not be selected for an administrator position at its Fort Logan Hospital in Stanford, Kentucky because of her sex, based on the CEO’s belief that men work better with men and that it was best to have a male in that position. Ultimately, a male employee who did not meet the existing education requirements was promoted to the administrator position. The female employee, who met all qualifications for the administrator position, including the educational requirements, was instead appointed to a lower-paying position that reported to the newly promoted male.

The EEOC further charged that after the female employee filed a discrimination charge with the EEOC, EMH retaliated against her and ultimately fired her.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex-based discrimination and retaliation against employees for filing discrimination charges with the EEOC. The EEOC filed suit, Civil Action No. 5:24-cv-00084-KKC in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Central Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In this case, the EEOC seeks back pay, front pay and compensatory and punitive damages for the discharged employee. The EEOC also seeks injunctive relief, including an order barring EMH from engaging in discriminatory treatment in the future and requiring EMH to institute and carry out policies, practices and programs which provide equal employment opportunities for women and which eradicate the effects of its past and present unlawful employment practices.

“The EEOC is firmly committed to ensuring that all workers have an equal opportunity for advancement,” said EEOC Indianapolis District Director Michelle Eisele.

Indianapolis District Office Regional Attorney Kenneth L. Bird added, “It is highly appropriate that this lawsuit is being filed during Women’s History Month. Employers who use an employee’s gender as the basis for promotion decisions are clearly practicing unlawful discrimination. Such decisions must be based solely on the individual’s ability to do the job. This lawsuit seeks to ensure that qualified female applicants will be judged by their education, experience, and other qualifications, and not passed over because of their gender — and to compensate women who were denied positions because of their sex.”

For more information on sex-based discrimination, please visit https://www.eeoc.gov/sex-based-discrimination.

For more information on retaliation, please visit https://www.eeoc.gov/retaliation.

The EEOC’s Indianapolis District Office has jurisdiction over Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and parts of Ohio.

The EEOC prevents and remedies unlawful employment discrimination and advances equal opportunity for all. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.