web analytics
July 4, 2015 / 17 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Former Columbia University Medical Center Employees File Religious Discrimination Lawsuit

In 2010, three employees were fired by the Radiation Safety Office at Columbia University Medical Center in a departmental reorganization. All three are Jewish, with beards and yarmulkes, and were between the ages of 57-65. Now each of the three men are suing on grounds of religious and age discrimination.

Salmen Loksen was the director of the Radiation Safety Office and a Radiation Safety officer. Moshe Friedman, a full-time office administrator, was fired at the same time as Loksen. Bruce (Binyomin) Emmer, a permanent part-time employee responsible for radiation safety and emergencies at the radiation center, was laid off shortly afterward.

No one else was laid off at the time, although there were several other casual (or part-time) employees working there.

In its response to the suit, Columbia denied the allegations of discriminatory treatment and retaliation but acknowledged that the positions were eliminated and that the plaintiffs “wore beards and yarmulkes.”

Loksen was radiation safety officer not only of Columbia’s Medical Center but also the western campus of New York Presbyterian Hospital and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. These institutions had an agreement with Columbia for the radiation safety services to be provided by CUMC staff. The three men claim CUMC failed to get approval for the layoffs from the Joint Radiation Safety Committee as required.

Oversight of the radiation offices, according to Loksen’s complaint, was turned over to an individual who was not licensed as a medical physicist and did not have experience with a human-use medical radiation center.

In his complaint filed with the EEOC, Emmer claimed his firing was harmful to the functioning of the Radiation Center.

“One of my functions on Sundays was to be on call in the event of a radiation emergency,” he wrote. “On the Sunday after I received the letter of termination, I received a call from the security office of the NYPH concerning a radiation alarm at the hospital because…no one else was present and able to respond to the call in a timely manner.” He had to inform the security office he was no longer able to respond since he had been fired. The men were informed by Lisa Hogarty, chief operating officer, that the layoffs were due to a need for restructuring and greater budgetary efficiency, and that their positions were no longer necessary. However, regulatory agencies had recommended increasing the amount of professional staffing.

The FDA began an investigation of CUMC shortly before the layoffs. The New York Times reported on July 16, 2010, that CUMC was hit with fines for violating FDA regulations, with charges including lax quality control, risk of impurities in drug injections, and falsifying documents to cover up the irregularities.

In an article last month the Columbia Spectator quoted a letter from Emmer to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration accusing the medical center of trying to “deflect and obstruct the FDA investigation” in an unorthodox and hasty restructuring of the department.

The Spectator article also noted that “an employee of the University, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of endangering his job, said he didn’t know Loksen had filed a lawsuit, adding that ‘everybody was shocked’ after he was fired.”

Bruce Emmer wrote in an e-mail to The Jewish Press that he “believe[s] that the facts show the so-called reorganization was a pretext for unlawful dismissals. All it did, in my opinion, was get rid of competent employees who maintained a high level of regulatory compliance regarding radiation safety, and eliminate three people and only three – the only visibly Orthodox Jews in the department.”

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Former Columbia University Medical Center Employees File Religious Discrimination Lawsuit”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with Prime Minister Netanyahu in 2012.
Hillary Clinton Says She Will Be Better Friend than Obama to Israel
Latest News Stories
Zarif and Kerry on the Fourth of July.

Kerry spent the Fourth of July talking with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Placard at counter protest of neo-Nazis in London on Saturday.

Thirty Policemen escorted a total of 21 neo-Nazi in the “anti-Jewification” protest that flopped.

Young teenagers point rifles at Syrian soldiers at ancient Roman amphitheater.

ISIS released a video of a modern-day replay of the thirst for blood in ancient Roman amphitheaters.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with Prime Minister Netanyahu in 2012.

The woman who once said “**** the Jews” has a different attitude when it comes to funding her campaign for president.

A third Grad rocket was found in the Eshkol region on Saturday.

If Lapid decides that his party will support the proposal in the Knesset, he will go down in history as the man who saved Israel’s gas industry and credibility.

The House of Bishops, led by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, overwhelmingly defeated the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions resolution.

US alone voted no on UNHRC Resolution condemning only Israel for wrongdoing in last summer’s conflict.

Sinai terrorists expanded their range of attack Friday, aiming rocket fire at southern Israel as well.

5:21 PM The rocket landed in a field in the Eshkol region. Apparently from Sinai. 5:06 PM Channel 1 reports that citizens say they saw the rocket fly over from Sinai. 4:49 PM IDF Spox says they believe only 1 rocket was launched. The IDF is examining if the rocket was launched from the Sinai. […]

Iran is not budging in nuclear talks on its refusal to allow spot inspections of military sites.

Nothing like a Kosher frank for the 4th of July, even if this year, you have to cook it before Shabbat.

Nothing quite like Hamas terrorist supporters on the Temple Mount openly waving their flags..

Machsom Watch women came to harass IDF soldiers in Hebron but embarrassed themselves instead.

A Palestinian Authority Arab was shot and killed after he attacked an Israeli army commander driving in near Jerusalem.

The US Mennonite church votes to table an anti-Israel BDS resolution for two years.

More Articles from Leah Rothstein

In 2010, three employees were fired by the Radiation Safety Office at Columbia University Medical Center in a departmental reorganization. All three are Jewish, with beards and yarmulkes, and were between the ages of 57-65. Now each of the three men are suing on grounds of religious and age discrimination.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/former-columbia-university-medical-center-employees-file-religious-discrimination-lawsuit/2013/02/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: