Usually, when the public discusses workplace discrimination, they are referring to some type of unfair treatment against a certain race, religion, sexual orientation or gender. However, while these are some of the most common types of discrimination in the workplace today, they are by no means the only types of discrimination that can occur. Communications giant AT&T recently received a class action lawsuit alleging that their new emphasis on staffing with technologically capable individuals operates on a discriminatory bias.
According to the suit, the company chose to institute a wide-ranging layoff that targeted older workers in an effort to thin the herd and make room for younger, more theoretically technologically-inclined employees. The suit further alleges that the company very intentionally structured its layoff procedures to avoid the appearance of discrimination, despite the fact that the process was broadly discriminatory against older employees.
The company allegedly moved employees around to various job statuses so as to not arouse the suspicions of any regulatory agencies. The company also allegedly informed individuals that if they chose to accept a severance package when it was offered to them, that this would preclude them from filing a discrimination lawsuit. Not only is this untrue, it doesn’t look very good for the company, which claims that it does not tolerate discrimination of any kind in any of its operations.
If you believe that your employer discriminates against workers of a certain age, or commits any other type of discrimination, you should absolutely reach out to an experienced attorney who can help you review your circumstances and identify any grounds for legal action.
Source: New Jersey Law Journal, “Amid Drive for Tech-Savvy Workforce, AT&T Faces Suit for Age Bias,” Charles Toutant, July 03, 2017