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Jury Awards $370k to Former AT&T Exec in Age Bias Case

February 22, 2016

A former AT&T service executive who accused the telecommunications company of firing him because of his age has been awarded $370,000 by a federal jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The man sued AT&T for his dismissal at age 65 after 43 years of working with the company.

He apparently learned after his termination notice that he had been replaced by someone 29 years younger than him. The jury returned its verdict in favor of the man on Jan. 11, after a five-day trial.

According to court papers, the man had been a highly-regarded and productive employee throughout his career. He started working at AT&T after his honorable discharge from the Navy in 1970 and had received numerous promotions since then and had maintained positive performance reviews.

In 2013, the man’s direct supervisor told him that his position was being “surplused,” according to court papers.

After learning of his termination, the man was instructed to train his replacement, a 36-year-old.

The man was given no explanation as to why he was terminated and no accounting was made to ensure that age discrimination was not a part of the process.

The man said that his total economic loss was more than $438,000 in back pay and front pay. He also suffered from insomnia after his dismissal.

AT&T claimed in its papers that the man’s termination was based on performance issues. In particular, AT&T pointed out that the man had trouble getting involved in new technology as well as needing work in Microsoft Excel functions.

Additionally, AT&T claimed the elimination of the man’s employment was also based on the company’s plan to reduce its headcount as part of a restructuring.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s most recent statistics, in 2014, age discrimination constituted 20,588 of the EEOC’s 88,778 charges. To put that into perspective, 31,073 were attributed to race and 26,027 were for sex discrimination.

Older employees are sometimes viewed as a liability in their workplace. This is mostly because older employees are usually at the top of their pay scale, have multiple insured dependents, and usually have more invested in pension plans, so companies will try to cut their costs by eliminating jobs of older employees by replacing them with younger, single workers. At Whittel & Melton, our Florida Discrimination Lawyers represent employees who have been the victim of age discrimination through lay-offs, denied promotions, and even discriminatory hiring policies. We work closely with investigators, computer specialists, handwriting analysts, and other experts to perform a thorough review of a company’s hiring record, internal memos, emails, and human resource files. We look at every shred of evidence to uncover any contradictory testimony and claims when compared against the record of a department or company.

As trial lawyers, we have the experience and tools necessary to go to bat against big companies in the courtroom. Our goal is to hold employers guilty of age discrimination liable for their actions. If you feel you have been the victim of age discrimination, call us today at 866-608-5529 or contact us online to schedule a confidential appointment to discuss your case.