9260306_sActually there was no napping going on when a Houston-based mattress retailer began to execute a plan to systematically rid the company of 90% of its employees over the age of 40.

According to a new EEOC age discrimination lawsuit, after the company purchased Bedtime Mattress in Las Vegas, where most of the employees were over 40, it plotted to rid itself of its older workforce.

To those of you who are keeping track, according to a new EEOC age discrimination lawsuit the company was not particularly creative in using ageist code (that we faithfully chronicle) in describing older employees it acquired when it purchased another mattress company, instead using tired old terms to describe the older employees such as “stuck in their ways” and ”resistant to change.”  How yesterday; “not enough runway” is much more now.

The EEOC said that the company set a goal for itself:  to get rid of 90% of the older employees.  The way they tried to accomplish this was by:

—  directing the district manager to “fill them up with a bunch of salespeople around them, so they don’t make a commission, so they don’t make any money. Then they usually go off on their own;”

—  ordering older employees to perform physically demanding tasks, such as unloading heavy mattresses and posting banners in high places without the help younger employees received;

—  barring older employees from attending relevant training;

—  discouraging them from seeking promotions; and

—  demoting them to undesirable stores.

Said one EEOC attorney:  “Store managers and salespersons over 40 years of age endured Mattress Firm’s campaign to edge them out upon the retail giant’s 2007 acquisition of a Las Vegas mattress chain.  Ultimately, older workers felt compelled to quit or were otherwise forced out.”

Seems like the company may lose some sleep over its improper plan.