Yep, an employer said that to the only three administrative staff members over age 40, according to a new EEOC lawsuit brought against a Long Island health insurance broker.
Also said: “You need to wear more make-up because of your wrinkles” and “Look at that old f**k.”
On the heels of our recent posts about age-based coded language, there is nothing coded about these remarks — they are as direct as evidence can be showing age-animus. We wrote earlier that ““We have harangued [employers] for a long time [we said on December 11, 2012 ] not to call an employee “old” or “ancient,” which is clear direct evidence of age discrimination, and not to use code words, such as calling an employee: “old school,” or “set in his ways,” or “not a proper fit for the “new environment,” or “lacking in energy,” or “not being up to date,” or “sounds old on the telephone,” or “is like a bag of bones. Some employers think that they are gaming the system by using these code words, and discouraging older applicants from pursuing positions. It usually backfires. We later added “a little long in the tooth” to our list. And also, try not to call an older worker “Methuselah.”
Besides the obvious animus that the remarks in this new lawsuit demonstrate, if proven, one wonders what sort of employer would subject anyone to that sort of verbal harassment. One does not need legal advice to know that these comments are unlawful.
If the matter does not settle and the case is tried and proved, this employer will likely pay through its young nose.