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Age bias charges filed in wake of academic split

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

When Texas Southmost College (TSC) and the University of Texas-Brownsville (UTB) ended their affiliation, administrators faced some tough decisions. According to three new lawsuits, they didn’t choose wisely.

Three former TSC professors claim college President Juliet Garcia’s decision to fire tenured faculty while keeping some nontenured instructors violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. The suit also names UTB Provost, Alan F. J. Artibise, as a defendant as well.

The three tenured professors claim that most professors over age 40 are tenured, while most of those under 40 are not. The three professors seek reinstatement to tenured positions and back pay.

In its response to the lawsuit, TSC denied the three professors were, in fact, tenured. The college has offered to allow judgment to be entered in favor of the plaintiffs, but with no damages. Barring a settlement, the case will most likely go before a jury.

Note: When downsizing, be sure to consider whether terminations will have a disparate impact on older workers. If that’s a possibility, consult your attorney before moving forward. If you’re not careful, you wind up facing an age discrimination lawsuit.

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