A Supervisor's Swine Flu Death Wish on an Older Employee Leads to an Age Bias Claim

 Yesterday, our guest blogger offered three tips for successful onboarding

Unable to match that, today, I have a less than successful way to encourage attrition -- unless of course you like defending age discrimination claims.

A federal court has permitted a plaintiff's claims that his ex-employer created a age-based hostile work environment to proceed to trial. And, get a load of the supervisor stupidity:

According to this recent federal court opinion [an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis.com subscribers], the plaintiff alleged that his supervisor "constantly called him 'old man,' asked him when he was going to retire so that he could replace him with 'young blood,'" and told him, "I hope the swine flu virus comes through here and gets rid of you old timers."

When the plaintiff sought clarification as to whether the supervisor's swine flu comment was meant for him, the supervisor replied, "Yes, you got that right."

So, what do you think? Hostile work environment? Maybe so, according to a NY federal court, reasoning that a jury could find that the retirement and the swine flu comments, together with the calling the plaintiff "old man" every day, evidence persistent age-based animus.

Here's what I think. I think that with supervisors like this, I'll be gainfully employed for a long time.

This article was originally published on Eric B. Meyer's blog, The Employer Handbook.

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