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Salesman wins appeal in age-related workplace discrimination case

Florida workplace discrimination claims arise out of many different circumstances and scenarios. Some relate to race discrimination, some relate to sex discrimination and others are caused by age discrimination. At this time in the United States, baby boomers have caused the senior workforce population to grow considerably. As a result, age-related workplace discrimination may become a bigger and bigger problem in years to come.

In order to successfully navigate a wrongful termination claim relating to age discrimination, a litigant must provide sufficient evidence to show that he or she was terminated due to age. In one age discrimination case, a fire truck and rescue equipment salesman was able to do just that. The individual had been the most profitable and the oldest salesperson for the company he worked for. While his sales accounted for approximately 50 percent of the company's statewide sales, his division was underperforming. He and a colleague were fired and replaced by relatively inexperienced salesmen in their 20s.

At first, the man's claims of age discrimination were denied in a motion for summary judgment. However, he later appealed the decision to the 7th District Court of Appeals and won. In its decision, the court cited evidence from depositions. Apparently, the fire truck company had made repeated statements about the fired man's age, and how at his age, he should have been more productive. The company also reportedly made statements that it hired the man's replacement because he was a young person and the company wanted to give him a chance.

Another determining factor in the man's lawsuit was that the stated reasons provided by the company for his firing proved to be false. The company said it fired the man for not attending an important event, although numerous witnesses verified that the man had been present. The lesson to be learned from this case is that federal courts take workplace discrimination relating to age seriously. If a Florida employee is fired because of his or her age, that person can seek justice in court.

Source: hr.blr.com, Age discrimination claim bolstered by employer's 'string of questionable conduct', Ryann E. Ricchio, March 12, 2014

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