A California jury awarded $17.7 million to a group of five older workers who were given more difficult work hours so as to injured them or frustrate them into quitting. The employers also downgraded the workers performance reviews. In Ward v. Cadbury Schweppes Bottling Grp., a seven member jury found that American Bottling Co. and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc. was liable for age discrimination by requiring a manager to discriminate against older delivery drivers and for disability discrimination by failing to accommodate a driver’s disability. 6 employees were also awarded punitive damages based on the jury’s determination that the companies acted with “malice, oppression, or fraud.”
If you believe you have been treated unfairly at work, it is important to consult with an experienced Atlanta employment discrimination lawyer. Many federal laws exist to protect workers from discrimination and harassment, including Title VII of the Civil Right Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin and religion. Additionally the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Americans with Disability Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) protect against disability discrimination and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects individuals over the age of 40 from discrimination.
According to reports, the lawsuit was filed after management at the San Fernando branch of the American Bottling Co. began engaging in a pattern of aged-based discrimination including downgrading employee reviews of older workers, giving older workers heavier workload, providing unwarranted write-ups and not supporting the older workers. Additionally, branch managers noted the need for “new blood” and referred to the locations staffed by older workers as “retirement communities.” In order to replace the older workers with younger employees, one supervisor was told to assign older workers jobs that would “injure them or force them to quit.”
Sadly, as the work force ages some companies discriminate against older employees, rather than recognizing the skill and knowledge they provide to the work force. As a result, age discrimination continues to be one of the fastest growing types of employment discrimination.
For more information or if you believe you have been subjected to age discrimination, contact the dedicated Atlanta discrimination attorneys at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.