Los Angeles Workers Sue McDonald’s for Age Discrimination

According to a recent feature from the Los Angeles Daily News, seven former employees a McDonald’s restaurant located in the Northridge neighborhood of Los Angeles are suing the company for age discrimination in relation to their employment.

hand-957924-mThe plaintiffs, six women and one man, alleged in their complaint they were all fired by McDonald’s because they were over the age of 40. Specifically, they are alleging counts of age discrimination, wrongful termination, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The suit is filed in the Superior Court in Los Angeles, and plaintiffs have not specified an exact amount of damages.

Plaintiffs claim their troubles started while they were all working at the restaurant. They stated they were all hard working employees with no reason for disciplinary action including termination. They further claim they were all fired suddenly as part of scheme to replace them with younger workers.

Plaintiffs say in 2012, the company hired a new manager. She allegedly cut hours for all of the older workers and would not allow them to take their scheduled rest breaks at the appropriate time.   They alleged this was part of a plan to make the workplace inhospitable for the older workers, so they would quit. When this did not happen, plaintiffs allege new manager used a scheduling remodeling project to get rid of the older workers. Specifically, manager said some employees would be transferred to other locations during the renovations and the others who were not transferred could reapply for employment at their restaurant once renovations were complete. None of the plaintiffs were selected for transfer and were therefore left without a job.

One of the plaintiffs applied for her old job and was allegedly told the manager only wanted “puro gente Joven” employees, which essentially translates to young people. This employee was 52 years old at the time of her termination and worked as a cook and drive-thru employee for the company.

Plaintiffs also alleged manager was heard expressly saying she wished to staff the restaurant with a younger workforce who all spoke English. As our Los Angeles employment attorneys can explain, age discrimination is specifically prohibited under California employment laws. If you believe you were the victim of age discrimination, or any other type of discrimination, at your place of employment, you should speak with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible.

After the renovations were complete, the plaintiffs reapplied for their old jobs, and none of them were rehired by the company to work at the restaurant. It should be noted, the McDonald’s corporation has said the company prides itself in providing excellent employment for all staff regardless of one’s age, race, sex, or disability. With respect to the specific allegations, the company has said it would be inappropriate to respond at this time due to the pending litigation. It is fairly common for companies to decline to make comments during the pendency of litigation, and it should be noted that defendant has not been found liable in a court of law for any of the allegations in plaintiffs’ complaint as of this time.

Contact the employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 714-937-2020.

Additional Resources:

7 former McDonald’s employees in Northridge sue over age discrimination, June 22, 2015, LA Daily News

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Walz v. Ameriprise Fin. Inc. – Mental Illness Discrimination Allegation, March 21, 2015, Orange County Disability Discrimination Lawyer Blog