I met with a client today who had worked for a company for 15 years. He is 66 years old and had grown the company from nothing into a multimillion dollar a year empire. Late last year (2013), a new CEO came in who was young (38).
The CEO immediately started making age related comments to the client such as “when are you going to retire?” and “you are not doing things my way because ‘you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.’”
These comments were constant, but the client continued to grow the business and be more and more successful.
Out of the blue last week, the CEO came to the client and told him that he was being fired for alleged attendance issues. There were no attendance issues—this was made up.
The CEO was trying to create a paper trail to “justify” firing an older employee.
As the client was packing up his belongings, he received a forwarded email from someone else in the company, written by the CEO, telling other managers it was time to “get rid of the old blood and bring in fresh blood.”
Needless to say, the client will be pursuing a claim for age discrimination. And, needless to say, my first exhibit in front of the jury will be that email.
Discrimination happens every day, and in all forms. Protect yourself.
If you have questions regarding what is happening to you in the workplace, e-mail me at [email protected].