Many employees in California work hard at their job, often spending years with the same employer as they work toward retirement. Unfortunately, some older workers have found themselves facing increased scrutiny in an attempt to force them into retirement in order to cut costs. For those workers who are pushed out of their job solely based on their age, litigation may be the best path to justice.
A 52-year-old man in another state has recently won a lawsuit in which he claimed his employer, a municipality in another state, discriminated against him due to his age. The man, who worked as a lifeguard, claims that the municipality changed standards related to supervisors and fitness tests in order to force out older workers. The changes started to occur when officials for the city that was struggling financially reallocated over $50,000 typically spent on lifeguards to firefighters.
The goal of the scheme, according to the lawsuit, was to reduce the number of hours older lifeguards worked, thus reducing their salary. Because their pension was determined by the amount of money they made in the years leading up to their retirement, they would be forced to retire to protect their pension. While a spokesperson for the municipality continues to claim that the lawsuit was frivolous, a jury recently awarded the man approximately $130,000.
Most employees in California would like to believe that their employers will treat them fairly and ethically; however, many fall victim to age and the other forms of discrimination. In order to protect their livelihood, many of these workers have no other choice but to seek damages through litigation. An attorney with experience with such cases can help them fully understand their options.
Source: NPR, "Fired At 52, Jersey Shore Lifeguard Wins Age-Discrimination Suit", Scott Neuman, Aug. 9, 2017