Carney R. Shegerian, founder of Shegerian & Associates, a Santa Monica-based law firm specializing in employee rights, has issued a statement aimed at all employees and employers in light of current news coverage surrounding a US Government Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) age discrimination case filed against Marymount Manhattan College. Shegerian warns that age discrimination in the workplace is more common than many realize and can and should lead to litigious scenarios potentially devastating to the employer.
Marymount Manhattan College, a private liberal arts college located in New York City, last week settled its lawsuit filed by the EEOC alleging that it refused to hire a choreography instructor for a tenure-track assistant professorship because of her age.
According to the EEOC’s suit, Marymount passed over a 64-year-old applicant for an assistant professorship in dance composition who had been working at Marymount, and instead hired a 38-year-old applicant. The suit charged that this violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which prohibits age discrimination against employees and job applicants who are age 40 or older.
“Companies exist to make money, and that is understandable and positive by itself,” said Shegerian. “But when corporate profit trumps all else, the dedicated, long-term older workers, sometimes with medical and health issues, are harassed, pushed out and sometimes treated terribly. Employees need to protect their rights like corporations protect their wallets. We applaud the EEOC’s efforts in this matter — hopefully this news will put employers nationwide on notice that they may never discriminate against their employees for any reason, including their age.”
By the terms of the consent decree settling the suit, Marymount agreed to pay $125,000 to the applicant. Further, the school agreed to comply with the requirements of the ADEA. The decree also requires monitoring and training on anti-discrimination law. The decree will last for four years.
An experienced trial attorney, Shegerian has tried many jury trials to verdict in both state and federal court, representing individuals that have suffered financial or emotional losses and have been wronged by employers, including major corporations. Shegerian has built a remarkable career on helping those who have been wronged in the workplace. He remains undefeated in federal jury trials and has won over 60 jury trials, including 23 seven figure verdicts representing employees.
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