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Former Boeing employees fired for being too old, Part 1

Several years ago Boeing sold its operations that were located in Kansas and Oklahoma. When the business was sold, the acquiring company did not rehire all of the original employees who were previously employed by Boeing. The result was an age discrimination lawsuit against Boeing by those employees who were not rehired.

Much like employers in many states, Kansas employment is not immune from age discrimination laws. When the Kansas and Oklahoma sections of Boeing's operations department faced new ownership, Boeing fired all of the 10,000 employees and stated its intentions to propose rehiring some of the employees under the new company's leadership. The employees who were not rehired claimed they faced age discrimination when younger employees were rehired by the acquiring company and many older employers were not rehired.

The employees that were rehired were chosen by Boeing management and the rehires resulted in 8,354 of the 10,000 former Boeing employees being rehired. Following the rehires, those who were not rehired claimed age discrimination and supported the claim through showing a predominance of younger employees hired during the rehire. The older employees claimed they were terminated due to their age and the cost of a more experienced employee.

The resulting age discrimination lawsuit was filed on behalf of the applicable non-rehired employees. The lawsuit represented 700 non-rehired employees. The lawsuit utilized age discrimination as stated in the Employment Act, ERISA, ADA and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The initial lawsuit was dismissed by the initial lower court and the lawsuit was upheld on appeal.

Source: Business Insurance, "Dismissal of former Boeing workers' age discrimination suit upheld on appeal," Judy Greenwald, Aug. 29, 2012

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