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Missouri woman alleges age discrimination in lawsuit

The 56-year-old former director of communications with a Missouri nonprofit is suing the foundation and its chief executive officer for alleged age discrimination. The former executive with the Missouri Foundation for Health filed a petition in St. Louis Circuit Court on March 6 after she was terminated from her position on Jan. 23, 2013.

According to her petition, the woman suffered "emotional distress, embarrassment, mental anguish and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life." She seeks damages in excess of $25,000, in addition to attorney's fees, costs and punitive damages.

She filed a charge of employment discrimination due to age with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights and the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on May 16 of last year. She received a notice of right to sue on Dec. 24 from the MCHR. Her case is set for a jury trial later in September.

Prior to her termination, the plaintiff maintains that she received favorable reviews and annual raises. She has since moved on to a position as the director of marketing and communications for another nonprofit, Parents as Teachers.

Many older workers feel that they are being "aged-out" of the workforce rather than being allowed to retire with full benefits. Corporations with eyes on the bottom line can increase profit margins when they don't have to provide generous retirement packages or "golden parachutes" to executives. They can also save money by hiring younger workers whom they can pay lower salaries.

If you believe that you are in a similar situation, documentation of any alleged instances of age discrimination is crucial. Gather all the ammunition at your disposal, and consider seeking legal advice and filing an EEOC complaint for your right to sue.

Source: St. Louis Business Journal, "Former communications exec files age discrimination lawsuit against Missouri Foundation for Health" Samantha Liss, Jun. 03, 2014

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