Losing your job is never a pleasant experience, but what if you did nothing to deserve it? Or worse, what if you were fired because your employer simply thought you were too old? This is exactly what a former employee of Disney alleges happened to him. Now he is pursuing a wrongful termination claim in a California court.
The 48-year-old former director of Disney's story department was making $135,000 annually when he was informed in 2013 that his employment was being terminated. According to him, he contacted an official with the company and encouraged him to reconsider the termination, but it was to no avail. He says that, subsequently, the company's Motion Picture Production president informed him that his position was no longer going to be available. This was allegedly because the company was producing fewer movies.
However, according to the former employee, his position was simply renamed and filled by a younger employee. His purported replacement was formerly an assistant for the same production president who previously told him the position was being eliminated. The filing goes on to suggest that Disney has a history of terminating employees who have been with the company for longer periods of time to replace them with workers who are younger and less-experienced.
Following being issued right to sue letters by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the former employee filed a wrongful termination suit in Los Angeles Superior Court. If he prevails in his lawsuit, he could stand to receive significant compensation.
Regardless of the size or power of an employer, they should not be allowed to get away with mistreating employees in the fashion alleged in this case. If you are removed from your job due to your age or other unfair reasons, through retaliation or simply without the correct termination procedures, you may be able to fight back. The advice of an attorney can be invaluable in helping you choose the right course of action.
Source: Deadline, "Disney Slammed In Discrimination Suit By 26-Year Veteran Studio Exec," Dominic Patten, June 11, 2014