A California woman's long career at the Beverly Hills Department of Recreation and Parks came to a humiliating end according to her lawsuit. The 66-year-old had worked for the city since 1979 and earned a series of promotions until 2017 when she applied to be department director. This action proved to be a turning point that resulted in dwindling duties, reassignment ,and eventual job loss. Her court filings describe ongoing hostility at work that created a humiliating environment for her.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from the city for allegedly discriminating against her because of her age. Her allegations also include a failure to prevent harassment, wrongful termination and retaliation. Prior to applying for the open director's position, she had appeared to excel as a senior recreation supervisor who organized events at the Greystone Mansion and attracted high-profile sponsors. Although she had acted as the director informally for several months, her application was rebuffed. The city hired a 35-year-old former lifeguard with minimal experience managing recreational venues.
The plaintiff's employment situation then deteriorated as she was stripped of duties. An anonymous call to her spouse in February 2018 disclosed that the hiring manager had been specifically instructed to recruit younger people. The city has not provided a public statement regarding the lawsuit.
Although workplace discrimination laws specifically protect people at over age 40, employers tend not to take complaints seriously. A person who has lost a job or been passed over for promotion could speak with an attorney about methods for challenging mistreatment due to age. An attorney could prepare a formal complaint and strive to secure a settlement for damages during arbitration or litigation.
Source: Beverly Hills Courier, "Former Beverly Hills Recreation Supervisor Alleges Age Discrimination", April 10, 2019