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When age seems obvious factor, expect lengthy legal process

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Firing,Human Resources

Here’s something to consider when terminating an older employee, while leaving younger ones in place: If your organization is sued, don’t expect the case to be tossed early on. Instead, brace for protracted litigation.

Recent case: Restaurant manager Richard Gruenthal was terminated at age 59. He claimed that he was fired after a police incident involving a bar­tender, but that younger managers were not punished even though they had been involved, too.

The restaurant argued Gruenthal didn’t have enough evidence that age was a factor in his firing, much less the main reason. But the court said the alleged facts were enough to merit continuing the litigation. (Gruenthal v. Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, No. 2:10-cv-421, MD FL, 2011)

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