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Former Meijer cashier awarded settlement for wrongful termination

Employees who intend to stay with a company for decades often hope to be rewarded for their loyalty and dedication to their job. However, the longer an employee works for a company can sometimes put them at risk for age discrimination. A Michigan woman claims that the loss of her job was actually a wrongful termination due to age discrimination rather than the coupon infraction that the company stands by.

The 42-year-old woman in question worked as a cashier for Meijer grocery stores for 22 years. The grocery store chain prints out coupons for their customers at the checkout register that usually offer $20 off another purchase if the customer has a prescription filled at the store's pharmacy. The ex-cashier's troubles began when she admitted to taking two of these coupons. She did not use one of them, and the other that she took advantage of was given to her by a customer.

As she was nearing what would have been the most that she can earn as a Meijer cashier, she was fired over the coupon incident. She claims that this was more than just a case of a violation of company policy, and was actually a purposeful act of age discrimination. The grocery store says that they were cracking down on coupon violations in general, but this woman points out that all of the cashiers who were investigated concerning coupons were all over the age of 40.

The legal battle lasted two years, and both sides stood firmly with their original claim. However, the ex Michigan cashier was awarded a settlement for her wrongful termination claim. Since she has had no luck finding a job with comparable pay to what she received working for Meijer, the $15,000 settlement that she was awarded will probably help her finances immensely.

Source: The Grand Rapids Press, Fired over coupons, Shandra Martinez, Feb. 9, 2014

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