Articles Posted in Age Discrimination

In a recent case, the First District Court of Appeals Division 5 in California issued an opinion in an appeal involving a dispute between an employer and an employee. The plaintiff is a former organizer for the defendant, the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW). The plaintiff contends that she was wrongfully terminated by the NUHW under numerous statutes, including the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, and the trial court issued a written order granting NUHW summary judgment and dismissing all the causes of action in the plaintiff’s complaint.

Facts of the Case

As an employee of the NUHW, the plaintiff was hired in September 2015 as an internal organizer. The NUHW employs external organizers, who encourage non-unionized employees to join the union, and internal organizers, who develop and organize members to be active participants in the union. Although the plaintiff had some union experience, she did not have experience organizing union members in hospitals or organizing workers in technical job classifications. Nevertheless, she was assigned as an internal organizer to two hospitals in Sonoma County, Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital (SRMH) and Petaluma Valley Hospital (PVH).

During the trial, the plaintiff’s former supervisor testified that the plaintiff initially performed well. When she was hired, NUHW was negotiating with SRMH for a successor contract, and the plaintiff was able to communicate with Spanish-speaking union members and organize them to support the contract. The contract was ratified, and the plaintiff was given a positive skills assessment.

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The outcome of a case can turn on the evidence each party presents. As a result, parties to a lawsuit will seek to include their evidence and may object to the other party’s evidence. A recent opinion from the Second District Court of Appeals Division 4 in California demonstrates the importance of these evidence disputes to the strength of each party’s case. The case involved an appeal from a lower court decision granting an employer’s motion for summary judgment. The employee claims his former employer, Fox Digital Enterprises, Inc., eliminated his shifts as a finishing editor due to his age. At the time of his termination, the employee was 63 years old, the third-oldest finishing editor. The employee filed a lawsuit alleging age discrimination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and wrongful termination in violation of public policy. Both parties objected to the opposing side’s evidence.

Facts of the Case

At Fox, the plaintiff had edited promotional videos since 1984. In 2018, his supervisor eliminated his and the oldest editor’s shifts. Later, Fox gave additional shifts to the youngest editor. A few months prior, Fox had informed employees of anticipated staffing cuts due to budgetary constraints. However, the plaintiff argued he was terminated because of his age. Fox countered by citing issues with his speed and tardiness. Several supervisors and editors testified that the plaintiff was one of the slowest editors in his department. The plaintiff countered that he produced meticulous, quality work, and Fox’s reported concerns were a pretext for age discrimination.

To support their claims, each party submitted several forms of evidence. The plaintiff claimed he heard a supervisor say that another editor was the slowest. He provided declarations from former Fox employees who attested to his high-quality work and punctuality. He also cited evidence of finishing editors’ average hourly wages to argue his above-average pay reflected strong performance. Fox objected to this evidence and provided its own pay data.

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A 34-year employee of the popular game show “Jeopardy!” is suing the show’s producers after being fired in August.

Glenn Kagan, 66, filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., and Quadra Productions Inc. claiming age discrimination.

Company said the plaintiff violated COVID protocols

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), tech giant IBM discriminated against thousands of older workers laid off by the company from 2013 to 2018.

In late August, the agency notified a group of ex-employees that IBM routinely ignored laws that protect workers from age discrimination in hiring and firing.

Discrimination was encouraged “straight from the top”

Discrimination in the workplace is a product of human biases in social spaces which spills over to the confines of the work environment. Because of this, people often get pushed into retirement long before they are ready or work low-paying jobs long after they are ready to leave the workforce.

According to an AARP study, almost one in every four workers who are 45 years or older have received a negative comment regarding their age from fellow coworkers or even their supervisors.

Older workers face the highest rates of age discrimination

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