David, Brody & Dondershine, LLP Experienced General Business Law Attorneys
2100 Reston Parkway, Suite 370
Reston, VA 20191
703-264-2220

New age-bias lawsuit instructive in its details

There is unquestionably much about business that is complicated, with one outsized challenge being continually spotlighted by the nuances of employer/worker relations and interactions.

We duly note on our business law website at the solidly established Washington, D.C. metro law firm of David, Brody & Dondershine that issues involving employees “can be extremely complex legal matters.”

Take allegations of work-related discrimination, for example. Our seasoned attorneys routinely defend diverse employers against discrimination claims of all types and know from long experience that they can pose hard challenges to company owners and managers.

A recent case involving the German automaker Volkswagen well illustrates that.

That matter relates centrally to the assertion of one worker that the car company unlawfully discriminated against him because of his age. Following his demotion as an assistant manager, he filed a federal lawsuit against Volkswagen. That filing seeks class action certification for a large group of plaintiffs that the employee contends have been similarly discriminated against in favor of younger workers.

Volkswagen could face a bit of an uphill battle countering that claim, based upon official company statements uttered in recent months. An article chronicling the lawsuit and its details notes a company announcement from last year openly acknowledging a stated preference toward younger managers. Volkswagen is on record in citing its expectation for management levels “to become younger and slimmer.”

There is nothing inherently questionable or unlawful concerning that comment, of course, provided that evidence does not point to findings that the stated goal was achieved by illegally discriminating against older workers. Volkswagen will certainly argue that its plan to become “faster and more efficient” through an expansion of youth in its management ranks is fully in lock step with requisite requirements under relevant American laws.

The class action filing of course seeks to refute any such claim. It states that Volkswagen seeks to “purge older workers [through] illegal age discrimination policies.”

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