It is not unusual for older, more experienced employees of a company to be asked to train or advise a younger group coming up through the ranks. However, when that younger group is actually being trained to take the job of the older employee training them, legal complications may quickly arise. In fact, Colorado workers may be interested in a story regarding a newspaper that is being sued by a group of older employees. They claim to be the victims of wrongful termination, as they say they were terminated to make room for a younger batch of workers.
There are eight former newspaper workers suing the newspaper. Each person suing is over the age of 40, and each one apparently saw advertisements for jobs that were similar to their own. They took steps to apply for those jobs as a means of staying on at the paper. One employee claims her application was rejected. The job was reportedly comparable to the one she already had, but it was being offered for less pay and fewer benefits.
The newspaper workers were also allegedly made to train the new employees designated to take their jobs. The group also contends they were pressured to sign severance packages without being given time to properly review the documents. The newspaper responded by saying that they let the employees go with a severance package that was valid.
There are legal protections in place for people who sign employment contracts and severance agreements. Those agreements typically outline certain conditions of employment and termination. In Colorado and elsewhere, it is illegal to wrongfully terminate an employee based on age. If anyone feels they have been wrongfully terminated and pushed out of a job for this reason, seeking guidance and understanding concerning age discrimination claims and wrongful termination laws may be of benefit.
Source: louisianarecord.com, “Ex-employees sue Times-Picayune for wrongful termination“, Lizzy Fitzsousa, April 25, 2014