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Was Plano dismissal a layoff–or age bias?

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Firing,Human Resources

An electrician with 25 years of service to the Plano Independent School District has sued, alleging he was fired because of his age, not because the district needed to cut staff.

Ben Cowling lost his job in April 2011. He claims the district told him he was terminated as part of a reduction in force. But Cowling, who was 55 years old at the time, contends that the “reason for the separation was a pretext and he was discharged on the basis of his age.” 

His lawsuit alleges violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and seeks damages for mental anguish, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, court costs and interest.

Note: Employers must have a nondiscriminatory, business-based explanation for their decisions when cutting jobs. Otherwise, plaintiffs’ attorneys can easily make the case for discrimination when arguing before a jury.

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