While the company attributed layoffs last year to budget constraints, the women – all over 40 – said they were all in upper managerial roles at the firm when the layoffs occurred, followed shortly thereafter by hiring younger replacements. Those employees who remained after the layoffs were then given raises of 10 percent. NBC-4 Los Angeles reported in one case, a younger woman with less experience than one of plaintiffs became a supervisor. Another alleged the director asked if she would be retiring anytime soon. One said she felt pressured to return to work early from her medical leave (during which she was undergoing chemotherapy treatments), indicating at one point, because it didn’t seem her supervisors believed the severity of the situation, that she felt compelled to open her shirt and show her scars to her supervisors.
The case is further complicated because the company contracts with Los Angeles County (specifically the Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community) and receives local, state and federal funds to to provide workforce services to youth, adults and seniors. The County is not named as a defendant in the California age discrimination lawsuit. Plaintiffs say they not only want to be compensated for their losses, but to protect current employees from facing the same fate in the future. Continue reading