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TexLaw, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination
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Hi, seeking advice if I have a case. Centralization of services

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Hi, seeking advice if I have a case.
Centralization of services caused my program manager position to be eliminated, and I was let go. I was a corporate EE that worked with ~35-40 facility based EE. These facility based EE are now centralized to one corporate cost center and now have dedicated leadership with newly created manager and director positions.
I was told I was not eligible for either of these new positions (mgr/Dir) due to myself not being a RN (which is in both new job descriptions.) I was told it was company’s policy that clinical staff must report to another clinical person. I inquired and was never provided this policy by HR; I was later told (not by HR) that there wasn’t such a documented policy in our database so it did not exist. I provided HR & my supervisor org chart examples where this “policy” was not consistently applied; never heard back from HR.
My JD was updated 4yrs ago and it stated RN required; I was kept in this pgm mgr role despite not having the RN requirement, I've independently obtained 2 national credentials in the area to show I have knowledge and competency on the subject area knowing I wasn't a RN.
The 2 new JD’s contain most of the content that was in my with a few additional items-i.e. budget & direct EE responsibility. I was asked to be part of interview panel and one applicant interviewed was not a RN instead a non-US physician (was not selected). I was “not eligible” to interview because was told I did not meet the ‘RN or “clinically equivalent” requirement’. They’ve used ‘clinically equivalent’ to permit individuals that were trained as a physician in other countries that are not yet licensed in US.
I was the only person that was let go from this centralization. One internal EE RN was hired to be the manager, and an external RN was hired to be the director.
I'm in AZ at will state, age >40, Long-term employee >14yrs, at maximum PTO accrual, and with exceeds performance annual reviews.
I’ve been offered career transition center…where I’m provided regular salary/benefits/pto accrual for 3 mths and an additional 1 month due to being over 40 without pto accrual rate. In exchange I need to sign release and submit weekly log to show job search activities. Once I obtain another role (internal or external, PT or FT), then this CTC ceases.

Thank you for your question. Based on your fact scenario, it does not appear that you had an employment contract with your previous employer. In Arizona, Employment falls under the "At Will" doctrine, which provides that unless you have an employment contract which states otherwise, your Employer can let you go for any reason which is not illegal (such as gender, race, or age discrimination).

The fact that you are over 40 brings you under the protection of the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the Arizona Employment Protection Act. These statutes would make it a wrongful termination for you to be let go if the reason for your termination was based on age as the motivating factor.

However, in your case, it appears that there is facially a valid reason that the employer chose to terminate you, as your position was made redundant and you did not possess the required RN qualification. The fact that your employer had previously chosen to allow you to continue working in your position even though you were not an RN does not have any effect on the situation. Further, even though you may arguably be otherwise qualified through your experience and national accreditations as a "clinical equivalent" to an RN, this does not create any legal rights on your part in this situation.

In short, I do not believe that you have a case for employment discrimination or wrongful termination based on the facts provided.

TexLaw and 4 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX the validation. Others have suggested it was a rouse to get rid of long term, higher paid EE and thought perhaps it could be linked to my age. Appears because they put the RN requirement in JD, that's how they get away with it.

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