The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, the union which represents engineers and technical workers at Boeing, alleges that Boeing implemented a scheme to engage in age discrimination on a “breathtaking scale.” Last month, the union filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Washington state anti-bias agency claiming that the company manipulated retention ranking factors used to select employees for layoffs, which made older employees more vulnerable to layoffs. The union alleged that “this illegal manipulation doubled, tripled and quadrupled layoff vulnerability for older employees compared to previous years.” The union also claims that the company is moving jobs from one state to another and filling them with younger workers.
Companies will sometimes attempt to mask their intentions to get rid of older employees by including them in a layoff or restructuring in hopes to skirt federal and state age discrimination laws. Therefore, older workers should scrutinize their selection and consult an attorney to help determine if they have been unlawfully chosen for a layoff.
This firm will continue to monitor the developments in this case.