Two scientists fired from the Valley Forge chemical company PQ Corp. are millionaires following a federal jury’s verdict in their age discrimination lawsuit.
The two, a 60-year-old woman and a 56-year-old man, filed age bias charges against PQ after the company implemented a mass layoff in 2005. The scientists alleged that all of the employees laid off were over age 55. They also said they endured disparaging remarks about the fitness of older workers.
The employer countered that funding for the two scientists’ positions had been cut and that the decision to terminate the two was based on reasons other than their age.
But the jury didn’t buy PQ’s argument and awarded the female scientist $3.2 million; the man got $2.7 million. The awards consisted of back pay, front pay and compensatory damages. The back pay damages were doubled because the jury concluded the company had willfully discriminated against the scientists. Now the two are asking for attorneys’ fees and costs in addition.
- Terminated employee claims discrimination? Warn managers against any sort of retaliation
- Retaliation applies to former employees, too
- Budget cuts forcing layoffs or reorganization? Take care to spell out justification
- Use hotline records to nail down complaints
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