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First Circuit affirms judgment of nearly $2 million against Puerto Rican hospital for retaliation

Today, the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals, in Boston, affirmed a judgment against a Puerto Rican hospital of nearly $2 million because it retaliated against a doctor who complained of age discrimination. The hospital terminated the doctor after he had complained that the hospital discriminated against him on the basis of his age. The Court affirmed the judgment because it found that various pieces of evidence cast doubt on the truthfulness of the hospital’s explanation for its decision to terminate the doctor. For instance, the hospital claimed that it terminated the doctor not because he had complained of age discrimination but because he had purchased an electrocardiography machine for his private practice and took business away from the hospital with it. However, the hospital had informed doctors who worked for it that they could purchase their own equipment for their private practices. Moreover, other doctors had purchased similar equipment for their private practices and the hospital did not terminate them.

This case illustrates that an employee who experiences retaliation or discrimination can prove it with circumstantial evidence. He does not necessarily need a witness to say that the employer admitted it was retaliating against or discriminating against him in order to prevail. If you believe your employer has illegally retaliated against you or discriminated against you, contact an experienced employment attorney who can tell you whether there is enough circumstantial evidence to prove that your employer violated your rights.