Former nurses sue Homer hospital for alleged age discrimination

Apr 18, 2019

South Peninsula Hospital.
Credit Photo Courtesy of South Peninsula Hospital

Five former nurses at Homer’s hospital allege in a lawsuit they were edged out of their jobs in favor of younger, less expensive replacements.

The former nurses – all in their 50s -- accuse South Peninsula Hospital management of forcing them out of their jobs in favor of junior replacements. They refer to it as a “scheme” to save the hospital money, which amounted to age discrimination.

It accuses their boss of arbitrarily firing them or bullying them into quitting and that the hospital should be liable for those actions.

The lawsuit was filed by Louise St. Laurent and Chris Long who were worked as co-assistant managers of Homer hospital’s surgical services.

Laurent alleges that her contract was abruptly canceled after she asked about benefits in late 2017. Her counterpart Long says he was let go for quote, “economic reasons” last year. He said he re-applied when his job was posted months later. But said he never received an interview despite a “glowing” reference written by his superiors when he left. He said he complained to then-CEO Joe Woodin who vowed to investigate but nothing came of it.

Others plaintiffs include former anesthesia nurse Brian Miller. He alleges he was bullied by the chief nursing officer and faced false accusations against him that weren’t detailed in the complaint. He claims this forced him to resign.

Two former nurses Laurie Stargel and Katherine White also alleged bullying and said they were laid-off in favor of less experienced replacements.

Several complaints were filed with the hospital union, Teamsters Local 959, the complaint says, seven of which are pending.

South Peninsula Hospital management declined comment. A spokeswoman said the hospital had not seen the lawsuit. Anchorage law firm Flanigan & Bataille, which filed the lawsuit in Homer District Court, also didn’t want to talk.