Barnes and Noble, the bookstore chain with locations around the country, is facing a possible class action lawsuit from employees who claim they were fired due to their age. The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court in Northern California, accuses the chain of deliberately purging the company of older workers in an attempt at cutting costs. The lawsuit blames the age discrimination in part on Elliott Management Corp., a hedge fund that took control of Barnes and Noble in August.
The principle plaintiff in the suit is a 59-year old woman who has worked for Barnes and Noble since 2006, who was suddenly fired, despite a career of positive performance reviews. She claims in the lawsuit that she, and every other employee over the age of 40 at her location, was suddenly fired, and replaced with younger employees. In seeking class action status, she alleges that this is not merely an issue at her workplace, but an across-the-board policy enacted by Barnes and Noble’s new management, because younger workers will work for lower wages and fewer benefits than older, experienced workers will.
Barnes and Noble has struggled for years to remain profitable in the internet age, with much of its previous business going to internet retailer Amazon. Nevertheless, the alleged actions taken by Barnes and Noble to dismiss older workers, supposedly as a cost-saving measure, are allegedly different from those in the past. It is not yet clear if the class action status for the suit will be approved, and what will happen to Barnes and Noble if the allegations in the lawsuit prove to be correct.
If you have been the victim of discrimination in your workplace or suffered retaliation for reporting discrimination, it is important that you seek the guidance of an experienced New York employment lawyer who can protect your legal rights and advocate on your behalf during the legal process. Steven Mitchell Sack, the Employee’s Lawyer, is a New York employment lawyer who has considerable experience in handling the many aspects of employment law. To schedule an appointment with New York City employment lawyer Steve Mitchell Sack, call (917) 371-8000.