A recent case out of the Fifth Circuit, Dediol v. Best Chevrolet, Inc., examined whether a man who endured persistent abusive remarks about his age and his religious beliefs may bring a claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals determined that based on the facts of the case, the 65-year-old man was entitled to maintain his age and religious discrimination action.
Although you would think employers are happy to have older, more experienced workers on the payroll, this is often not the case. Age discrimination is one of the fastest growing types of employment discrimination. Sadly many times older workers are subjected to teasing and harassment, and may be overlooked for hiring and promotion or subjected to other adverse employment actions. Fortunately, Congress enacted the ADEA to prohibit discrimination against individuals over the age of 40.
Here, Milan Dediol, a born again Christian worked at a car dealership in the New Orleans area. His supervisor constantly harassed him about his age, calling him “old man,” “pops,” and “old mother ******.” The supervisor also allegedly steered customers away from him and to other workers. Additionally, when Dediol left to attend a church event, his supervisor threatened to beat him up, then fired him for job abandonment.
Title VII prohibits religious discrimination. This means that your employer may not discriminate against you, or subject you to harassment or retaliation, because of your religious beliefs.
The 5th Circuit evaluated the facts, including allegations that the supervisor used age based epithets up to six times a day, and determined that this amount of name calling was sufficient to raise a claim of age-based harassment that was likely to interfere with Dediol’s work performance. Additionally, although no “smoking gun” of religious discrimination existed, all of the epithets taken together amounted to a pattern of acrimony based on Dediol’s religion. As a result, the Court of Appeals determined that Dediol could maintain both a claim for age discrimination and religious discrimination.
Unfortunately workplace discrimination still occurs in a variety of manners. Whether it’s based on your age, your gender or your religion, you shouldn’t have to put up with it. If you believe you have suffered discrimination, you may be able to bring a lawsuit under one of the provisions of Title VII or a similar law. An experienced employment discrimination law firm can advise you of your rights.
For more information and to stop workplace harassment or discrimination, contact the experienced Atlanta workplace discrimination lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP, P.C. for a confidential case evaluation.