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Facebook sued for age discrimination

A 52-year-old former Facebook employee commenced civil litigation with the social media platform over the termination of his job two years ago allegedly because of his age and the company's intent to replace him with a younger worker at lower pay. The suit, filed in September in the Los Angeles Superior Court, also charges that Facebook engaged in wrongful termination, disability discrimination, retaliation and that the company intentionally inflicted emotional distress.

The plaintiff is seeking unspecified damages. He claimed that another company, subsequently acquired by Facebook, hired him in 2007. He suffers from seizures, clinical depression, anxiety disorder and lower cognitive abilities because of a physical disability.

The plaintiff charged that the company fired several co-workers and replaced them with younger employees. Management allegedly explained that the workers did not get things and move quickly enough. The plaintiff said that he understood these comments as meaning that older workers were culturally inept in the company's work environment or less conscientious and enthusiastic as younger workers. The plaintiff claimed that the company preferred workers who were young enough to have grown up using social media platforms.

The plaintiff allegedly informed company officials about his age discrimination complaints but received no responses. However, he claimed that the company retaliated by rating him as a poor performer, unfocused and not moving quickly enough. According to his complaint, the company assigned him to an unreasonably technical project that was different from his other assignments and which was designed for him to fail and provide grounds for his job termination.

He suffered an orthopedic injury at work in Aug. or Sept. 2015 and later suffered a seizure. He charged that he was accused of taking unauthorized leave while he was on medical leave and not meeting work expectations.

Facebook allegedly told him he was going to be fired as of Nov. 1, 2015 and was offered $36,000 to release any claims he had against the company. He was ultimately fired on that date.

Employees who believe they were wrongfully discharged or terminated for an improper reason should seek legal assistance. An attorney can help protect their rights.

Source: my newsLA.com, "Facebook age discrimination lawsuit: Older workers 'didn't get it,'" By Toni McAllister, City News Service, Sept. 22, 2017

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