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Pamela Macknet, a former Penn Medicine employee, says that she was retaliated against for filing discrimination complaints to the department.

Credit: Ananya Chandra

A former Penn Medicine employee is suing the University for unlawful termination in what the University claims was a bogus age discrimination complaint.

Sixty-three-year old Philadelphia resident Pamela Macknet filed the lawsuit on Sept. 24 in federal court. She cited age and disability discrimination and unlawful retaliation as her causes, according to court documents.

In 2014, Macknet had filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission about age discrimination within her job at Penn. Her complaint stated that she had been improperly reprimanded and harassed because of her age, and her right to medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act had not been properly respected.

The EEOC issued her a ”right to sue” letter, allowing her to pursue a case against the University. Macknet decided not to sue, and the letter expired in 90 days after its issuance.

The day after the letter expired, Macknet was fired by the University in what she claims was a retaliation effort for filing the discrimination complaint. The lawsuit claims that the letter of termination accused Macknet of filing a “bogus Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act violation and ‘unsatisfactory work performance.’”

Macket claims that she was illegally retaliated against for sending the administrative complaint to the EEOC, even though that it a protected activity. The University’s answer to her complaint denies that the University “violated any laws with respect to the Plaintiff.”

Macknet’s legal counsel Wayne A. Ely of Kolman Ely, P.C. declined to comment on the pending lawsuit. Vice President for University Communications Stephen MacCarthy also declined to comment on pending litigation.

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