Here’s an important reminder for all supervisors: Innocent age-related comments can come back to haunt you. That’s especially true if the comments come from someone who has a direct say in hiring and firing decisions.
Recent case: Harry Seretti worked for a Ford dealership during the worst part of the economic downturn. Seretti was 58 years old when he was informed that his services were no longer needed and that the dealership was making some changes that didn’t include Seretti. It turned out that those changes included immediately hiring Seretti’s replacement, a 45-year-old former employee.
Seretti sued, alleging age discrimination. He claimed that when he asked his supervisor why he was being let go, the supervisor said that Seretti’s age had “caught up with” him.
Seretti also pointed to other recent comments, including one in which the supervisor said the automobile business had a way of aging someone “real quick,” and that Seretti couldn’t seem to “keep a grip” on things as he got older. Plus, the supervisor said, “maybe you got too old for what you’re doing,” and “these 12-hour days can really age you.”
The dealership argued thatwas the real reason it let Seretti go, but offered no evidence to back that up. Plus, it was clear that the supervisor had complete control over the termination decision.
That was all enough for the court to order a trial. (Seretti v. Morrow Ford Lincoln Mercury, No. 10-1277, WD PA, 2012)
Final note: A rogue supervisor with firing power is a dangerous thing. All termination decisions should be based on an independent review and not on one individual’s opinion. Always look at the decision the way a jury would—and make sure documentation can prove a termination was based on performance.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/30839/age-comments-plus-termination-equal-trouble "