According to several reports, at least two former 49ers employees have filed an age discrimination lawsuit against the team. The suit claims 49ers’ owner laid off the employees who were in their late 50s to “rebrand” the company.
Just before the 49ers moved to a new stadium in Silicon Valley, reports claim several older employees suffered discrimination. Two of these employees assert they were laid off because the owner wanted to rebrand the team as a new “startup.”
The suit claims the team’s owner did not offer valid reasons to have younger workers take the place of older employees. The company has been struggling with its reputation since hiring a former Facebook executive. Former employees claim the tech company executive referred to them as “legacy employees.” Insiders use this term in a derogatory fashion to refer to older workers. Former 49ers employees have added complaints linked to this treatment to their suit.
Employer May Have Defended Discriminatory Practices
In light of reports concerning the job applicants and their qualifications, many believe that former employees are right to pursue this case.
The suit claims both job applicants were qualified for the position. Still, younger candidates were the ones who were chosen to take over.
During meetings—one of the former employees claims—the company’s vice-president mocked him for his grey hair. This type of complaint is usually associated with age discrimination behaviors that should not be encouraged in the workplace. Co-workers claim former employees were exemplary professionals. Still, none of the consistently positive performance reviews were enough to help them to keep their jobs.
When both men were asked to finally leave, they were 56 and 59 years of age. One of the motives given to both men on why they were being fired was that the company was “going in a different direction.” This activity could be classified as a violation of federal regulations put in place to protect workers. Experts say this behavior is unacceptable and the laws are put in place to prevent this type of occurrence. Attorneys representing both sides will have to defend their positions by trying to sustain or deny this is a breach of federal law.
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