Southern Court Joins NJ In Recognizing a Hostile Work Environment Due to Age

By Thomas McKinney

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

About the Author
Tom McKinney is an experienced NJ Employment Lawyer in all major areas of labor and employment law, including discrimination, harassment, overtime violations, wage and hour claims, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FMLA, LAD, FLSA, and all other employment law claims. Tom is admitted to practice in the States of New Jersey and New York, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Southern District of New York, District of New Jersey, and United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Prior to forming the firm, Tom practiced at Gibbons P.C. in Newark, NJ. If you have any questions regarding this article, contact Tom here today.