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Michigan man claims age discrimination cost him his job

A 107-year-old company has been accused of discriminating against an employee who was only a few decades younger than the business itself. Claiming age discrimination, the former Michigan employee filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Two years down the road, he was given the green light to pursue a lawsuit against Faygo.

The soda company Faygo, which has been producing old-fashion style soda since 1907, was actually founded by the man's grandfather. He began working at the company in 1992 as the director of marketing for one of the bottling plants. He says that he put in 20 years of work at the company and experienced an enormous amount of pride in working at his grandfather’s company.

However, after repeatedly being questioned about retirement, he happened upon a job posting with the company that sounded strikingly similar to his own. When he confronted his employers about the posting, he claims that was informed that he was being laid off. However, he also states that they told him he’d first have to train his replacement.

Faygo has since claimed that this former employee wasn’t actually an employee at all and, in fact, was only a contractor. The employee denies this claim and again points to age discrimination as the cause of termination. Having been granted the right to sue suggests that the EEOC discovered what it believes to be a reasonable reason to pursue a claim in court. In his suit against the company, this Michigan man cites the fact the other employees in a situation similar to his were both younger and still employed. If successful, he can hope to recover both damages and lost wages for having wrongfully lost his job.

Source: USA Today, "Faygo founder's kin says company was wrong to fire him", Tresas Baldas, June 23, 2014

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