For the first time, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans recognized a hostile work environment claim based on the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). See Dediol v. Best Chevrolet Inc (5th Cir., September 12, 2011). The plaintiff was 65 years old and employed as an auto salesperson. His manager regularly called him names like “old motherf—er“, “pops”, and “old man.” Moreover, his manager threatened and humiliated him by charging at him during a meeting, threatening to kick his ass, and telling him, “You don’t know who you are talking to. See these scars. I was shot and was in jail.”
In New Jersey, an employee has had a claim for a hostile work environment due to age since passage of the NJ Law Against Discrimination. The Dediol case shows that the southern-based 5th Circuit has finally recognized the law of other parts of the country and found that an employee can be harassed at work due to his age.
September 18, 2011 – Paul Castronovo – Castronovo & McKinney, LLC