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Labor & Employment

EEOC Alleges Hospital Refused to Hire Male Nurse in OR Because of Female Patients

Posted Aug 11, 2011 12:06 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claims in a federal lawsuit (PDF) that a Missouri hospital discriminated against a male nurse by refusing to assign him to the operating room.

According to the EEOC, the Audrain Medical Center in Mexico, Mo., preferred to have female nurses in the operating room when female patients were being treated. The suit, filed in the Eastern District of Missouri, was filed on behalf part-time nurse David Lunceford, who was interested in the OR job because it offered full-time hours and benefits.

A press release quotes EEOC lawyer Melvin Kennedy, who said the hospital assigned female staffers to the operating room because most of the surgeons and anesthesia personnel were male.

The hospital provided a statement by Audrain Medical Center president and CEO David Neuendorf. "In order to provide our patients with the best possible care, AMC hires the most qualified people regardless of their gender," he said. "This complaint is without merit, which is why it could not be settled in mediation. AMC will vigorously defend itself in court.”

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