RadioShack Loses Age Discrimination and Retaliation Case
A jury awarded a former RadioShack employee $187,000 in back pay after finding that RadioShack willfully fired the employee for complaining about age discrimination. The judge in the case will soon decide whether the employee will be awarded substantial additional amounts, including front pay and a doubling of the back pay.
The case involved a 55-year-old employee, who had worked at RadioShack for more than 25 years with a perfect performance record. Shortly after he was assigned a new (younger) supervisor, the 55-year-old was placed on a performance improvement plan for the first time. He complained to Human Resources that he was being discriminated against because of his age and was fired several days later. Because the jury found that the firing was retaliatory, the judge may decide to double the back pay as liquidated damages.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits age discrimination against employees and job applicants who are 40 and older, and it prohibits retaliation for complaining about age discrimination. Specifically, it prohibits retaliation for opposing employment practices that discriminate based on age or for filing an age discrimination charge, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or litigation under the ADEA.
Retaliation claims have increased dramatically, according to the EEOC. Last year, 37,344 charges — 37.4% of all charges filed with the EEOC — alleged retaliation. The EEOC is also emphasizing that with the “graying of the work force,” employment decisions based on age-based stereotypes are “wrong and illegal.”
WeComply’s 25-minute online course in avoiding retaliation for managers and supervisors covers what retaliation is, why it matters, and how to use sound management practices when responding to complaints.Categories: Discrimination & Harassment Compliance
Tags: Age and Sex Discrimination, Workplace Retaliation