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Major victory against age discrimination

DCblogger's picture

Court: Man's age led to loss of job

The Elizabeth Board of Education must pay $135,000 to a man who filed a civil lawsuit claiming he lost his district job because of his age, a Union County jury has ruled.

Belleville was 67 years old when the school district decided not to renew his contract in 2006. In his age-discrimination lawsuit, Fortunato alleged he was the oldest of five computer programmers in his department and the only one not offered a contract for the following year. He said he had never received a negative evaluation in more than eight years on the job.

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Submitted by StephenG on

Why? Because so many employment discrimination (age, disability, etc.) cases fail to overcome the summary judgment phase. Some of the blog postings at the NJ.com reveal a total ignorance of the law. And it was also revealed that the EBOE has been facing a number of lawsuits filed against them for improper practices. Counties and public entities actually WASTE a lot of taxpayer dollars defending their unfair/illegal practices. I wouldn't be surprised if the EBOE spent over $500k defending their "honor", possibly more if they choose to appeal the thing.

DCblogger, thanks for reporting this. Since so much of our healthcare is tied to our employment, we information that helps us to fight to keep our jobs. Those of us who are "old" and disabled need our healthcare as well as the ability to pay our bills. Thanks!

a little night musing's picture
Submitted by a little night ... on

StephenG hit most of my points.

Age discrimination is very real and scary, and whenever I read otherwise sympathetic bloggers (Ian Welsh comes to mind) who play into these biases and accept their premises, it makes me wanna...

Just let me say, be glad that I'm a committed pacifist.

Don't think people older than you are are weak.

Submitted by StephenG on

So is its kissing cousin, Disability Discrimination. Employers and their managing agents play those biases against each other, wrecking the careers of a lot of people who are simply trying to make a living. Employment law issues aren't Ian's (and others) forte - which is understandable. However, if a case manages to survive summary judgment people need to understand that there are some serious facts to cause a jury to see/believe that a plaintiff has been screwed over and that those facts should be evaluated by that same jury.

Some "sympathetic bloggers" have never read a court opinion before and have no idea how an issue was decided before opining in a knee-jerk fashion. But that's human nature, I guess.

Ian Welsh's picture
Submitted by Ian Welsh on

Huh? I don't remember weighing in on age issues at all? Blast for me not being sympathetic to weight issues perhaps, but age issues? I'm of the opinion that if someone can do the job competently, they should keep the job. I have some issues with the old nature of things like Congress, but that's the nature of such institutions and of power in general.

Only thing I can assume is folks not liking my analysis of people who win and lose from healthcare reform as it stood back in (iirc) August. And yes, it was older folks who were going to win, and younger folks who were taking it on the chin.

Demographics matters, rather a lot.

But I sure didn't talk about this decision and whether or not I can read a legal opinion (I'm not very good at it, but I have lawyer friends who are, whose opinions I ask) is nowhere in evidence.