Recognizing that his “Baywatch” days were well behind him, Lester refused to don the skimpy trunks for his test. He commented, “There should be a law prohibiting anyone over the age of 50 from wearing a Speedo.”
The beach patrol fired Lester for insubordination. In 2009, Lester—who’s also a lawyer—sued the state agency that runs Jones Beach, saying the Speedo requirement was an attempt to get rid of older lifeguards. His original lawsuit was dismissed, but now an appeals court has reinstated it.
Lester must prove to a Nassau County court that he was fired because of his age. The state may have to show it required the tight trunks out of business necessity. That may be a stretch.
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Fired for death threats? No unemployment for you!
- Statements about race may trigger reverse discrimination
- Well-meaning assistance won't always mean you view worker as 'disabled'
- Before firing, make sure employee hasn't made any recent safety complaints