Are CVS’ metrics unfairly eliminating older pharmacists?

March 27, 2015

That’s the assertion of four former CVS pharmacists who recently filed lawsuits in U.S. District Court in South Carolina claiming the retail giant created a metrics system that unfairly eliminates older workers and causes dispensing errors.

That’s the assertion of four former CVS pharmacists who recently filed lawsuits in U.S. District Court in South Carolina claiming the retail giant created a metrics system that unfairly eliminates older workers and causes dispensing errors.

Second Ala. pharmacist wins age discrimination lawsuit against CVS

According to the lawsuits, CVS implemented a performance-based metric system prior to 2010 that has been used as a “tool” to eliminate older workers, particularly pharmacists.

“Under the metrics system, pharmacists are directed to meet unobtainable goals, which, if they did, would cause them to violate the law regarding their professional responsibilities and governing practice rules,” the lawsuits allege. “Due to the metrics system, pharmacists cannot meet their directives and are forced to decide whether they violate the law and regulations pharmacists must comply with, or attempt to meet the company directives.”

A CVS spokesman, Michael DeAngelis, said the allegations have no merit and that CVS intends to vigorously defend against them. “Like other companies, we measure the quality and effectiveness of the services we provide to ensure we are meeting our customers’ expectations and helping them to achieve the best possible health outcomes,” DeAngelis said. “Our systems are designed to help our pharmacists manage and prioritize their work to best serve their patients.”

Former CVS pharmacists Christine Gardner, Richard McClure, Terri Simpson, and Larry Powell filed the lawsuits. They allege that CVS has an established pattern of eliminating older workers in South Carolina and nationwide.

Powell claims he started struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder because he couldn’t meet CVS’ production obligations and metrics. He took a leave of absence and, upon his return, said he discovered that younger pharmacists had replaced a number of pharmacists 40 and older.

 

“During plaintiff’s employment, he and other co-workers over the age of 40 were being treated differently as compared to younger, less-experienced employees who were treated with preference, provided promotions, and paid higher wages,” Powell’s lawsuit alleges.

Simpson, in her lawsuit, claimed she began receiving harsh treatment after reporting alleged age discrimination. “A number of pharmacists who were all older individuals…were fired within a short period of time,” her lawsuit alleges. “Substantially all of the terminated employees were replaced with younger replacements.”

See also:

Is there age bias in pharmacy?