That covered categories of compensation ranging from economic loss to punitive damages. The case in federal court in New Jersey was about age discrimination in 2012 against Lockheed Martin engineer Braden. At the time of his layoff, he was 66. The others laid off were all over-50. Here is the coverage in Philly.com.
Obviously, the jury sent a message to Corporate America that bias because of age will not be tolerated.
This huge victory could embolden other employees who perceive themselves age-discrimination victims to file lawsuits. That, in itself, could deter employers from future bias based on age. Braden's performance reviews had been excellent.
As came up in this litigation, age discrimination begins after one's 50th birthday.
My experience, though, taught me that it can occur even before that. When interviewing for a full-time marketing communications position at an insurance company the manager alluded to the reality that I was "older."
My face fell. For two reasons. One, I was stunned that he didn't know or didn't care about the law regarding age discrimination. And, two, I was 48. When he read my face, he might have realized he had made an error. A serious one. I was offered the job.
I turned it down and continued being an on-demand type worker. I got it: Already my age was against me in the traditional workplace.
Through gossip from those in outplacement I have heard that professionals in their early 40s are also getting the boot from consumer products companies. They finger age. That may or may not be the primary reason or even part of the reason. It will take the legal process to determine cause for the end of a job. Which, in this labor marketplace, could mean the end of a career.
Meanwhile, the Braden verdict might have in-house legal departments educating managers about this risk to funds and brandname associated with age bias in termination, promotions, training/development and recruiting.
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