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Doctor who alleged age discrimination awarded $100K in Wexner Medical Center settlement

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The OSU Wexner Medical Center is located at 410 W. 10th Ave. Credit: Lantern file photo

The OSU Wexner Medical Center is set to pay a $100,000 settlement to a former employee who sued on grounds of age discrimination and harassment. Credit: Lantern file photo

A former Ohio State Wexner Medical Center employee who claimed he was a victim of age discrimination and harassment while working as a doctor at OSU will receive $100,000 after a settlement was approved in the Ohio Court of Claims on Sept. 15.

Dr. Nathan Hall served from 2006 to 2014 as division chief of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging in OSU’s Department of Radiology within the College of Medicine, according to the complaint filed by his lawyers on Jan. 16, 2015. Hall also served as a tenure track clinical science pathway faculty member during his time at OSU, the complaint stated.

In the complaint, Hall alleged that he began to experience “criticism” and “arbitrary and unidentifiable (and unattainable) productivity demands” from Dr. Richard White, who was hired as the chair of the Department of Radiology in 2010.

At the time of White’s hiring, Hall was 41 years old.

In the complaint, Hall said he began observing examples of White’s “blatant age discrimination and harassment” in 2013, when White began asking “all tenure track faculty members over 40 years old to consider voluntarily coming off the tenure track to ‘get ahead’ on the clinical track.”

Hall claimed that White continued to voice his support for “guys that are early (in their careers).” The complaint also stated that White urged Hall to step down from his position as division chief.

Hall filed a discrimination and harassment complaint against White with OSU’s Office of Human Resources in December 2013, which Hall claimed resulted in an increase in White’s “hostility” toward him.

In April 2014, Hall was removed from his position as division chief and was replaced by “a substantially younger individual … in her early 30s” whom Hall felt did not possess his “experience and expertise,” the complaint stated.

After OSU’s investigation found the evidence Hall had presented in his discrimination and harassment complaint against White “insignificant,” Hall resigned from OSU. In the Court of Claims complaint, he said he was “unable to continue working in a hostile work environment wherein he was subject to unlawful age discrimination, harassment and retaliation.”

The complaint stated that OSU’s “discrimination and retaliation” against Hall on the basis of “his age and opposition to age discrimination” resulted in his “lost career and educational opportunities,” as well as “loss of reputation, humiliation, embarrassment and mental and emotional anguish and distress.”

In June, the court was notified that Hall’s lawyers and those representing the medical center were “pursuing the possibility of settlement.”

A settlement was reached and submitted on Sept. 7. The agreement states that the medical center will pay Hall $100,000. As part of the settlement, Hall agreed to not pursue further claims against OSU in regards to this case. The settlement and payment by the medical center does not mean OSU admits liability.

In an emailed statement, Marti Leitch, senior manager of public affairs and media relations for the medical center, said that “both parties felt this settlement was a fair resolution to bring closure to the matter.”

Hall’s lawyers did not respond to a request for comment.

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