Publish date:

Dental practice fired business manager because she was too old, Human Rights investigation finds

The business has agreed to a $54,000 settlement with the employee.

A dental surgery has agreed to pay a former employee $54,000 as part of a settlement after it fired her because of her age.

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights announced it has reached an agreement with Natural Dental, of St. Paul, after it was found to have violated the Minnesota Human Rights Act when it fired Kathleen Dahlstrom.

According to a statement from the department, Dahlstrom was subjected to "demeaning age-related comments" by the owner of the practice, who said he "couldn’t work with Kathleen – she’s too old" and that she was "too old to learn new things."

The owner, who bought the practice in May 2018, had claimed he fired Dahlstrom because of poor performance, but it was found he gave her a favorable performance evaluation just days before firing her.

"Dahlstrom capably performed her job duties since 1999," the Department of Human Rights said. "Less than a week after the owner fired Dahlstrom, he hired a new business manager who was more than 30 years younger."

The department said it found probable cause this past November that Natural Dental had violated the Human Rights Act through age discrimination.

As well as agreeing to pay Dahlstrom $54,000, Natural Dental must also create anti-discrimination policies and provide bias training.

"Ageism has no place in Minnesota’s workplaces," said Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero. "This settlement sends a clear message that age discrimination violates the state’s civil rights law. If we are to build inclusive workplaces, we must be intentional that our biases, actions, and policies and practices do not perpetuate ageism and cause further harm."

Next Up

uprooted tree in Burnsville

NWS: Tornadoes confirmed to have struck Apple Valley, Burnsville

A crazy night of storms may have included even more tornadoes.

police lights

Man charged with manslaughter after fistfight ends in death

The incident happened at a veterans housing complex in Chisholm.


Ellison reaches $1.9M settlement with StubHub over COVID cancellations

The ticket reselling giant will pay $1.87 million in refunds for Minnesota events.

Everson Griffen

Everson Griffen injured in car accident after swerving to miss a deer

Griffen was involved in the crash Thursday on his way to work.

Screen Shot 2021-09-17 at 8.30.16 AM

DPS sparks furore with 'not reaching' pouches designed to stop police shootings

The pouches were developed in collaboration with Valerie Castile, whose son Philando was fatally shot by police while reaching for his permit-to-carry.

police lights

Maintenance worker finds 2 bodies in West St. Paul garage

It's unclear how long the bodies were in the garage before being discovered.

Screen Shot 2021-09-17 at 10.42.39 AM

Tree branch falls on tent in Mankato, killing 4-year-old girl

The tree branch fell at approximately 2:30 a.m.


edgewood sartell

Senior living facility discriminated against worker because she is Black

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights announced the settlement Tuesday.

Chipotle reconsidering decision to fire St. Paul manager over viral video

More information has come to light about the incident.

Screen Shot 2020-01-09 at 6.53.46 PM

Winona Ryder seen filming in Winona, but was she at Mickey's too?

She's in Minnesota reportedly to film a Super Bowl commercial.

Chipotle offers St. Paul manager in viral video her job back

It follows a review by the chain, which initially fired the employee.

benihana golden valley

St. Paul school board member kicked out of restaurant, alleges discrimination

The diners said they had asked their table to be cleaned but the manager refused and told them to leave, before calling the police.

Screen Shot 2021-04-12 at 5.44.29 PM

Brooklyn Center fires city manager following Daunte Wright killing

The mayor has taken swift action after being granted extra powers by the city council on Monday.

police tape, crime scene

Authorities responding to fire report find human remains in burnt car

The discovery was made by responders in Goodhue County.