An elderly woman has filed a lawsuit in Queens County Supreme Court, alleging that she was unfairly discriminated against because of her age. The employee, Ellen Strickland, had been working at the Queen’s Home Depot store in South Ozone Park for over 19 years, fifteen years of which she was employed as the store’s book and record keeper.
Strickland states that after she had purchased 24 cents worth of screws to use the store’s cash-back policy, she was called into the boss’ office. There, she was told that they had investigated her use of the policy, and decided to terminate on the spot after her long service.
The long term employee was stunned by the manager’s move, as she had become a fixture of the store. Fellow employees called her “Mom”, and often spent time with her outside of working hours. Even more shocking is that in days before her termination, Strickland had been honored by the store for outstanding customer service and had a flawless performance record.
Strickland hit back with a lawsuit against the company, alleging that the policy had been used by almost every employee and that no action was taken against any other cashier or employee that was younger than her. The Daily News reached out for a comment from the Home Depot, but the store or corporation has not responded to the requests.
Age discrimination has become a new reality for older employees, both in keeping their jobs and looking for new work. While the effects of the recession have seem to have eased hiring, cases like Ms. Strickland’s demonstrate the continued pervasiveness of these policies. Read up more on age discrimination over at our site, and let us know if you think you’ve been a victim of discriminatory policies at your job.