Led by an aging Baby Boom generation, the graying of America is well underway. While many Milwaukee-area employers embrace the shift toward an older workforce, some are resistant to the change and even push older employees out to make way for younger hires.
A 60-year-old retail salesperson south of Milwaukee recently filed a complaint under provisions of Wisconsin’s fair employment law, accusing her former employer of cutting her salary and diverting her sales to younger employees before firing her.
According to documents filed in court, the woman was hired by an upscale women’s clothing store in Pleasant Prairie in 2003. Her starting salary was $14.50 per hour, plus a two percent commission on all sales.
In her complaint, she notes that she “was one of the top sales people in the United States” for the chain of stores. But management changed at the store where she worked and her salary was cut first to $12 an hour plus commissions and then down to $10 plus commissions.
When she was fired in March of this year, store management told her that her sales were down. She rejects the claim, however. “In fact, I was a top performer and my sales were being shifted on the computer to younger employees,” she claims.
She also says the shifting of her sales to younger workers was “theft on the part of the store management.”
She said her treatment by management “constitutes age discrimination in its most blatant form.”
Her former employer declined to comment on her lawsuit.
Before resigning yourself to accepting age discrimination by your employer, speak with an employment law attorney who knows how to use federal and state law to protect your rights and your career.