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Teacher's aide, 77, fired after reporting age related harassment

Many Florida residents choose to continue working past retirement age -- not because they need the money but because they love their jobs. Unfortunately, some younger employees often resort to harassment to try and force older employees resign and free up their positions. A school district in another state is facing a lawsuit that was filed by a 77-year-old teacher's aide.

Court documents indicate that, after the plaintiff had returned from a short-term absence for cancer treatment, the alleged harassment by a colleague started. The plaintiff contends that her medical condition did not prevent her from doing her work properly, but the younger colleague allegedly told her that someone as old as she should just retire. This was claimed to be only one of many discriminatory remarks made by the co-worker.

The complaint also alleges that the plaintiff reported the harassment to the vice-principal, who instructed her to lodge her complaint in writing. About two weeks after submitting the written complaint, the plaintiff was informed that the investigation into her allegations led to the discovery that her time card had not been filled out correctly. The elderly woman asserted that she had filled it out in the same way for the eight years that she had been employed by the school district. It is alleged that she was then informed that she had a choice between resigning and being dismissed. One week later, the co-worker who was accused of harassment was appointed in the plaintiff's vacated position.

Reportedly, no resolution resulted from her filing a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and her state's Workforce Commission; ultimately, she resorted to pursuing the lawsuit herself. With the assistance of an employment law attorney, she filed a harassment and age discrimination lawsuit against the school district. Florida residents who have suffered workplace discrimination, retaliatory action or other workplace harassment may take similar steps that could ultimately yield fair compensation for financial losses and emotional damages sustained.

Source: star-telegram.com, "Former teacher's aide at Colleyville Heritage sues alleging age discrimination, retaliation", Sandra Engelland, March 10, 2016

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