Vanderbilt job cuts could lead to discrimination lawsuit - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Vanderbilt job cuts could lead to discrimination lawsuit

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is trying to cut costs by eliminating jobs, but how officials determined who to cut could soon lead to a lawsuit.

Vanderbilt was recently named the No. 1 hospital in the country by a leading magazine, but leaders there say the healthcare industry is becoming tougher and some staff has to be let go.

The medical center blames its cost-cutting plan on lower reimbursements from its three biggest sources of money: Medicare, Medicaid and the National Institute for Health.

Now, attorneys are making some troubling accusations about how top leaders made the hard decisions.

After close to 20 years as a technician in a Vanderbilt lab, Roger Sparks no longer has a job.

"I thought, 'Well, what did I do wrong? Did I do something wrong?'" Sparks said.

A letter slipped across a conference room table sealed his fate.

"And I thought it maybe had something to do with my age and how much I was making," Sparks said.

That led him to two attorneys, George Barrett and Jerry Martin, now working several cases and contemplating a lawsuit.

"We're looking at the demographics of the affected employees, including their ages, race and whether they've recently taken leave under the Family Medical Leave Act," Martin said.

The attorneys also said they hope to investigate the medical center's accounting practices, namely a decision to stop hourly workers from banking vacation time in the months before the job cuts began.

"What was it about the vacation time that caused Vanderbilt to not allow employees to accrue more time?" Martin asked.

Vanderbilt has not said. It also has not revealed how many workers could ultimately lose their jobs.

It did say most would be in support roles, not patient care, in a push to cut a quarter of a billion dollars in about two years.

Now, it seems clear their decisions could wind up front and center in a court of law.

"I just feel bad for myself," Sparks said. "But I really feel bad for those people who are maybe younger than I am and have kids at home who are depending on that money to support their kids, you know."

Channel 4 News invited Vanderbilt to respond and address the accusations, the concern about vacation time and the possibility of a lawsuit.

A spokesman declined an interview, referring us instead to a statement issued to employees on Monday. Read more about that memo here: http://www.wsmv.com/story/22846542/vanderbilt-addresses-concerns-over-medical-center-job-cuts.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • FOX19 HeadlinesMore>>

  • EPA chief faces Capitol Hill grilling over ethical missteps

    EPA chief faces Capitol Hill grilling over ethical missteps

    Thursday, April 26 2018 12:53 AM EDT2018-04-26 04:53:54 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 11:38 AM EDT2018-04-26 15:38:55 GMT
    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon). Protesters listen to speakers talk about EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and the state of the EPA during a protest by the American Federation of Government Employees union, Wednesday, April 25, 2018, in Washington.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon). Protesters listen to speakers talk about EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and the state of the EPA during a protest by the American Federation of Government Employees union, Wednesday, April 25, 2018, in Washington.

    Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt faces potentially make-or-break hearings on Capitol Hill, where he is expected to face questions about spending and ethics scandals that have triggered bipartisan...

    Full Story >

    Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt faces potentially make-or-break hearings on Capitol Hill, where he is expected to face questions about spending and ethics scandals that have triggered bipartisan calls for his ouster.

    Full Story >
  • Accused serial rapist and killer undetected working as cop

    Accused serial rapist and killer undetected working as cop

    Thursday, April 26 2018 2:39 AM EDT2018-04-26 06:39:08 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 11:33 AM EDT2018-04-26 15:33:03 GMT
    (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli). Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, left, talks to reporters about the arrest Joesph James DeAngelo, seen in photo, on suspicion of committing a string of violent crimes in the 1970's and 1980's after a news conference. ...(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli). Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, left, talks to reporters about the arrest Joesph James DeAngelo, seen in photo, on suspicion of committing a string of violent crimes in the 1970's and 1980's after a news conference. ...

    The suspected Golden State Killer became less prolific but deadlier after losing his job as a police officer.

    Full Story >

    The suspected Golden State Killer became less prolific but deadlier after losing his job as a police officer.

    Full Story >
  • Trump says Cohen represented him in "Stormy Daniels deal"

    Trump says Cohen represented him in "Stormy Daniels deal"

    Thursday, April 26 2018 9:18 AM EDT2018-04-26 13:18:48 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 11:31 AM EDT2018-04-26 15:31:18 GMT
    President Donald Trump says his personal attorney Michael Cohen represents him 'with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal' and that 'from what I see he did absolutely nothing wrong.' (Source: CNN)President Donald Trump says his personal attorney Michael Cohen represents him 'with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal' and that 'from what I see he did absolutely nothing wrong.' (Source: CNN)

    President Donald Trump says his personal attorney Michael Cohen represents him "with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal" and that "from what I see he did absolutely nothing wrong."

    Full Story >

    President Donald Trump says his personal attorney Michael Cohen represents him "with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal" and that "from what I see he did absolutely nothing wrong."

    Full Story >
Powered by Frankly