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School cook claims unfair dismissal

As many workers in Missouri know, when you have been a job for a long time, you can begin to feel quite attached to your position. You know your responsibilities well and there is a good chance that you may be more skilled at the job than newer employees, simply as a result of your experience. As such, you might expect employers to value their long-standing employees, but sadly this is not always the case. All too often, hard-working people are unfairly dismissed from their jobs because they are simply deemed to be too old.

In Willard, Missouri, this is exactly the reason for which a long-serving school cook believes she was fired. The former cook had worked in the Willard school district for 19 years before being dismissed in 2015. She has since accused the school district of age discrimination and violation of her rights under Missouri's Human Rights Act.

However, a response from the Willard Superintendent has dismissed her allegations as unfounded. Nevertheless, the former cook is pursuing actual and punitive damages. Her lawsuit indicates that the dismissal has had a significant emotional impact on her life and well-being, while also costing her income in the form of wages, sick pay, retirement benefits, and payment for vacation time.

Cases like this are all too common, but sadly they are often difficult to get to the bottom of. It can be difficult challenging a former employer and proving that their reasons for firing you were unjust. Fortunately, you do not need to handle the matter alone and there is support and guidance available. An attorney could prove to be particularly useful at this time and may be able to assist you with making your claim and pursuing the compensation you deserve.

Source: Springfield News-Leader, "Lunch lady lawsuit: Cook claims age discrimination," Claudette Riley, July 1, 2015

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