Jury finds in favor of plaintiffs in age discrimination lawsuit

People in New York who fly United Airlines might be interested to learn that the airline has been successfully sued for age discrimination. The flight attendants, who are now 59 and 66, were terminated five years ago. At the time, they had a total of 70 years of experience with the airline. In 2015, they filed an age discrimination lawsuit against United in Denver.

On March 5, a jury awarded $800,000 to the two. United will also be required to pay all legal fees, so the total cost to the airline will be around $1.5 million.

The lawsuit focused on an unannounced excellence review that was conducted in September 2013. An inflight supervisor said the two did not wear aprons and spent 15 minutes watching an iPad video. Furthermore, the airline claimed that one of the flight attendants violated policy by failing to use a tray to distribute cups and gave a complimentary vodka to a passenger. According to the lawsuit, this was all a pretext to fire the two even though the real reason was their age. United said it was looking into appealing the decision.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits age-related discrimination against people who are aged 40 and older. This includes discrimination in hiring, firing, promotions and pay. Employees who believe they are facing age discrimination in the workplace may want to talk to an attorney about how to document the discrimination and address the problem at work. If the workplace does not respond appropriately or if the employee is terminated or faces retaliation in some other way, the attorney might be able to assist in filing a lawsuit.

Source: Chicago Business Journal, “United Airlines socked with $800,000 payout in age discrimination lawsuit,” Lewis Lazare , 3/8/2018

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