Rutgers University, the largest public college in New Jersey, is fending off numerous charges that its current administration fired veteran employees because of their age. Four former Rutgers employees accuse the president’s chief of staff of firing them after pressuring them to retire. They say that none of them were fired on merit, and have joined together to file an age discrimination lawsuit against the school.
The plaintiffs all worked at Rutgers for several years, including one who had worked there for more than 40 years. One was in charge of the university’s career services program. Three of the four regularly received glowing work reviews, they say, until 2012 -- the first year that the new chief of staff conducted the reviews.
Suddenly, the four received negative performance reviews. The chief of staff claimed they failed to perform all of their work duties. The head of career services was reassigned from his post, before being fired along with the other three.
The four contend that the chief of staff’s reviews were inaccurate, and that his true agenda was to get rid of older administrators at Rutgers, in violation of age discrimination laws. The damages they are seeking were not specified in an article by UPI.
Through a spokesman, Rutgers denied the accusations.
Age discrimination remains a big problem in New Jersey and across the country. According to the Equal Opportunity Commission, there were nearly 23,000 age discrimination lawsuits filed in the U.S. in 2012, a big increase from the approximately 16,500 cases in 2006.
Source: UPI, “Rutgers denies it dismissed long-term workers due to age,” Dec. 7, 2013