The verdict included $7 million in punitive damages and $1.5 million in compensatory damages.
Plaintiff worked for B.E. Aerospace for 23 years and never received any negative performance evaluations. Toward the end of her tenure, plaintiff was directed to train a new 24 year old employee, who eventually took plaintiff’s job after plaintiff was fired because her position was “eliminated.” Typically, before this occurred, a newer and younger supervisor arrived. This newer and younger supervisor started in on plaintiff because of plaintiff’s age and gender.
Unfortunately this has become a common practice. I see it more and more.
Considering that California is an employment at will state, it still amazes me that many of these large employers, armed with armies of lawyers, will harass and lie to older employees it wants to get rid of. Most of these cases wouldn’t be worth filing if the employer treated the employee well. Most employees know they can be fired, but they can be fired with dignity. But these lawyered-up employers often make the mistake of thinking they have to come up with a reason to get rid of employees they’re tired of or are paying too much, so they cook up some reasons to “justify” a termination.
Stupid, stupid, stupid. Especially to treat a long-term dedicated employee like some kind of undesirable cretin and kicking him/her out the door.
Gee, what about treating the employee with dignity and respect? And if there’s a business reason to terminate an employee, especially a long-term employee, how about a generous severance package and a proper send away? How about a “thank you?”
I bet B.E. Aerospace now wishes it would have thought of that.
Check out this B.S. from B.E. Aerospace’s website:
B/E Aerospace is a leading manufacturer of aircraft interior products and solutions, and leading distributor of aerospace fasteners and consumables for the commercial business jet and military markets. A career here is beyond what you would expect in a job. (emphasis added!)
At B/E, your ideas, talents, and experiences reach beyond day-to-day duties. They are also used to shape a global organization. This is your opportunity to make a real difference each day and be a part of something bigger than any single individual. You can be a part of a global team that is always looking ahead.
Open the Door to Success.
We know the best view of B/E is from the inside. Come explore the pride, commitment, and value that a career at B/E Aerospace can bring to your professional experience. (I suggest allowing plaintiff to be the tour guide.)
What a joke!
I think the website should bear a prominent disclaimer. Here’s a suggestion:
Warning! Long-term dedicated employees are likely to have their reputations sullied and are subject to unceremonious termination when BE Aerospace determines the time is right. Applicants over 40 years old and women should consider this when applying.
Congratulations to Maryann Gallagher for her righteous victory.