Minnesota dentist must pay $54K for age discrimination against fired employee

The Minnesota Human Rights Department ordered a dentist to pay $54,000 in restitution after it ruled that the dentist participated in age discrimination when he fired an employee, the Star Tribune reported July 29.

Kathleen Dahlstrom was an employee at Natural Dental in St. Paul, Minn., since 1999. Chue Cha, DDS, became the new owner of the practice in May 2018 and reportedly planned to create a "modern aesthetic" with younger workers at the practice and made ageist comments against Ms. Dahlstrom.

Despite giving Ms. Dahlstrom a favorable job review days earlier, Dr. Cha reportedly fired her in June 2018 for poor performance. He then hired a replacement days later who was 33 years younger than Ms. Dahlstrom.

The state's Human Rights Department announced their settlement July 29. In addition to restitution fees, Dr. Cha and all other employees at the practice must attend anti-discrimination and bias training. The practice must also create and implement anti-discrimination policies and post state-required workplace posters in their office.

Dr. Cha did not return the Star Tribune's request for comment.

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