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McDonald's lawsuit alleges age discrimination

A California lawsuit filed on June 19 in Los Angeles Superior Court alleges age discrimination at a McDonald's location in Northridge. The seven plaintiffs said they were terminated due to their age and assert that McDonald's decided to staff the restaurant with younger employees. This strategy allegedly began in 2012 when a new manager refused to let older workers take breaks when scheduled and reduced the workers' hours.

The McDonald's on Parthenia Street began renovation work at the end of 2013. The manager was reported to have said that young employees had the option of working at other locations around the city while the renovations were in progress. The manager told older employees who did not transfer they could apply to work again at the Northridge location when the renovation work ended. The parties in the lawsuit were not rehired.

One plaintiff, a 62-year-old woman, began working in 1996 for McDonald's. Her positions included cleaning and food preparation. The worker contends that not only was she not given the opportunity to transfer to another location during renovation but that she was not hired when she reapplied. Another worker, 52, who is a plaintiff in the lawsuit, started working at the chain in 2003 as a maintenance worker, drive-through worker and cook. The plaintiff said when she approached the manager about being transferred she was refused due to her age. In addition, she maintains the manager told her she wanted to restrict the age of the location's employees when it reopened.

Age discrimination in the workplace is a violation of both state and federal law. An employment law attorney might assist an aggrieved employee in filing a claim with the appropriate agency if the employer's prohibited behavior can be established.

Source: Los Angeles Daily News, "7 former McDonald's employees in Northridge sue over age discrimination", June 22, 2015

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