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Howard woman files suit against Mt. Nittany Medical

WILLIAMSPORT — A Howard woman has filed an age and sex discrimination suit against her former employer the Mount Nittany Medical Center.

Lois Hassinger, 60, of Old 220 Road, had worked for the medical center since 1994 and was clinical supervisor of the endoscopy center when terminated June 3, 2020.

According to her complaint filed Tuesday in U.S. Middle District Court, her work life became more challenging in 2016 when she began reporting to a new director of surgical services.

In response, she says she applied for an open nursing position that would have placed her under new supervision.

Out of respect, Hassinger says she told the director of surgical services who is alleged to have told her “you can’t do that.” The position for which she applied was pulled shortly thereafter, she says.

The director was promoted to chief human relations officer in April 2020 and the following month announced a reduction in force in which supervisor positions were reclassified as managers.

Supervisors were required to apply and interview if they wished to remain in their positions, the complaint states.

Hassinger says she applied for numerous manager positions including endoscopy manager but on June 3, 2020, was told she was not selected for any of them. She was terminated instead of being offered another position, she says.

A substantially younger male with no prior endoscopy experience was selected as endoscopy manager, the suit states.

Two months after she was terminated the medical center began advertising for an endoscopy nurse, the document states.

Hassinger seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages along with reinstatement with lost wages and benefits. She also seeks a court order declaring actions taken against her were unlawful and in violation Title VII.

She had filed a complaint last October with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The agency on March 19 issued a notice of her right to sue.

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