Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Irwin Geltzer v. Virtua West Jersey Health Systems

May 20, 2011

IRWIN GELTZER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
VIRTUA WEST JERSEY HEALTH SYSTEMS, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Joseph E. Irenas

OPINION

IRENAS, Senior District Judge:

Plaintiff, Irwin Geltzer, brings this age discrimination and retaliation suit against his former employer, Defendant Virtua West Jersey Health Systems ("Virtua"). Geltzer, who was a part-time nuclear medicine technologist at Virtua, asserts that because of his age Virtua twice rejected him for a full time position and then fired him. Virtua moves for summary judgment.

For the reasons stated herein, the Motion will be granted.*fn1

I.

From 2002 to 2008 Geltzer was employed by Virtua hospital as a part time, "per diem" nuclear medicine technologist. Per diem technologists cover certain hours when there is no regular technologist on duty at the hospital. On a typical day, Geltzer was scheduled to be "on-call" for two to five hours. He was paid a minimal hourly rate (approximately $5.00 per hour) for simply being available while on-call. If Geltzer was actually called into the hospital to perform a test, he was paid at least $34.50 per hour, and Virtua guaranteed payment for two hours of work, even if the test performed was completed in less than two hours. (Leshik Supp. Cert. ¶¶ 4-5)

In late August or early September 2007, a full-time nuclear medicine technologist position became available. Geltzer testified,

A: . . . I went over to Debbie [Grigioni] and inquired about the position. And her comment to me was, you really don't want to work full-time, you are getting old. And I didn't really-- this was late on a Friday evening and I didn't really think much of it.

I came back in the next workday. I said, yeah, I do want to apply for [the position].

Q: You told that to Debbie?

A: Correct.

Q: And what did Debbie say?

A: Okay. (Geltzer Dep. Vol. I p. 94-95) At the time, Geltzer was approximately one month away from his 65th birthday. (Def's Ex. 13)

Three other people also applied for the position, and all four applicants-- Geltzer, Ed Quinn, Rakesh Patel, and John Kraus-- were given a panel interview. The panel consisted of four Nuclear Medicine employees, including Grigioni.

Each panelist completed a one-page "interview rating" form at the end of each interview. The form asked for a numerical ranking of "1 = least" to "5 = very good" rating of each candidate on seven attributes: "technical expertise"; "communication skills"; "team work"; "decisionmaking" / "willing to take direction"; "organization skills" / "time management"; "handling of criticism & feedback"; and "social desirability."*fn2

(Def's Ex. 7) Thus, 35 was the maximum score any one panelist could give an applicant.

Quinn received the highest average score of 33.4; and Geltzer received the lowest average score of 30.3. (Def's Ex. 7) Notably, while one panelist gave every candidate a 35, each of the other three panelists gave Geltzer the lowest relative score.*fn3 (Id.; Regn Cert. ¶ 8; Pawlowski Cert. ¶ 8)

Quinn was chosen for the position.*fn4 When Geltzer asked Grigioni why he was not selected, she stated that she was "choosing to take the department in a different direction," which Geltzer interpreted as Grigioni wanting to take the department in a younger direction. (Geltzer Dep. Vol. II p. 13-15)

In November 2007, another full-time nuclear medicine technologist position became available. Geltzer and Patel applied for the position. This time, a panel of three conducted the interviews.*fn5 Again, Geltzer received the lowest average score. (Regn Cert. ¶ 10; Pawlowski Cert. ¶ 10) Patel was selected for the position.*fn6 Geltzer testified that Grigioni again told him that she wanted to take the department in "a different direction." (Geltzer Dep. Vol. II p. 59-60)

Then in early 2008, Danielle Leshik, Lead Nuclear Technologist, began investigating discrepancies in the time records of another per diem employee. She certifies, [d]uring that investigation, I came across what I believed were inconsistencies in Mr. Geltzer's time records. Specifically, it appeared that Mr. Geltzer was recording time, and thus receiving pay, for 'on-call' duty during times when no patients were scheduled or recorded for testing or treatment. I checked Mr. Geltzer's time records and found that, in certain instances when Mr. Geltzer had clocked in, there was no corresponding patient test recorded in the Department log book. I also discovered that Mr. Geltzer had clocked in on numerous occasions when he was not in fact called in for a STAT test. . . .

I then brought the evidence of Mr. Geltzer's violations to the attention of . . . Debra Grigioni. Ms. Girgioni did not ask me to review Mr. Geltzer's timesheets; nor did my investigation initially ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.