According to the Los Angeles Daily News, a jury awarded a 66-year-old man $26 million last month after finding that he was discriminated against and harassed based upon his age by his supervising managers at Staples.
The news outlet reported that the verdict was reached on February 26. According to his lawsuit, Bobby Nickel said that he was a regular butt of jokes at staff meetings and was referred to as “old coot” and “old goat.” Corporate Express reportedly hired Nickel in August of 2002 as a facilities manager; Staples acquired Corporate Express in 2008.
Nickel claimed that he received positive job reviews, but because Corporate Express’ pay scale was higher than Staples, his managers wanted to discharge him and hire lower paid employees.
Nickel claimed that after he was asked to resign, he underwent a series of “false accusations and increasing levels of harassment from co-workers and a manager, including being suspended for taking a bell pepper worth 68 cents from the company cafeteria.”
Staples claimed that taking the bell pepper violated its zero-tolerance policy when it came to “dishonesty of any kind, including theft or misappropriation of company property.” Nickel also claimed that a receptionist with the company was asked to provide a false statement about his conduct, but she refused to do so. He was eventually fired in July 2011.
In his lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Nickel was awarded $3.2 million in compensatory damages and more than $22.8 million in punitive damages.
I Have Been Discriminated Against At Work Because Of My Age
Age discrimination laws protect employees from intolerance. This type of discrimination occurs when an employee, or potential employee, is treated unfavorably because of his or her age. If you are over the age of 40, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) federally protects you.
We help victims of age discrimination obtain compensation for unfair treatment. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation by calling (310) 273-3180.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob– Los Angeles employment attorneys