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Beer vendor, 85, cries foul, but court says Aramark was fair

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Mildred Block had a fine run at Shea Stadium, staffing a lucrative beer stand in a prime location near the right-field cheap seats during Mets games. She averaged $40 per night in tips. The 85-year-old Block had worked the stand for nearly 20 years.

But then late in the 2008 season—the Mets’ last at Shea before moving across the parking lot to the new Citi Field—concession operator Aramark sent Block down to the equivalent of the minor leagues: a booth where she pockets far fewer tips.

Block suspected she was being unfairly placed on waivers before the 2009 season started at the swanky new Citi Field. Plus, her replacement in right field was a younger woman. She sued for age discrimination.

Block’s son, who also sells suds at Mets games, testified that a manager told him, “Your mother is an antique, dinosaur, old cripple that we do not want at Citi Field.”

But the umps didn’t even bother looking at the replay. In March, a federal judge dismissed Block’s suit, noting that Aramark had a legitimate reason for demoting her; customers had complained that she worked too slowly.

 

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