Earlier this summer, over the course of several weeks, a major age discrimination trial took place in Federal Court in Downtown Manhattan. The suit was brought by former WPIX-Channel 11 news director Karen Scott, who is now 63 years old. The allegations centered on Scott's claims that she was fired in 2009, when she was 60 years old, as part of a concerted effort to remove older employees from the workplace. The defense argued that age did not play a role, rather, it was lower ratings which in-turn led to lower advertising revenue for the station.
According to New York Post coverage of the trial, former anchor Kaity Tong testified in support of Scott's claims. Tong believed that she, herself, was given a negative evaluation and forced to take a pay cut when she was in her early-60's. However, during their second day of deliberations, the jury found for the station, finding that the Scott did not meet her burdens in establishing that age unlawfully played a role in her termination.
The Scott case is only one of several claims brought for age discrimination by former WPIX-Channel 11 employees. Both Sal Marchiano and Larry Hoff have also have pending age discrimination claims.
This case, although the Plaintiff did not prevail, serves to highlight just how rampant age discrimination is in the workplace. As the working population ages, leadership in organizations desires to replace older workers with younger ones. These decisions are not based on merit, rather, they are based on an unlawful ageist bias against older workers and in favor of younger.