The latest age discrimination case from the US has highlighted the potential risks for employers who fail to prevent age-based harassment.
Codie Rael worked across Southern California from November 1978 for various subsidiaries of Washington-based parent company Danaher but was forced to resign in October 2014. She claimed that her bosses would repeatedly made remarks that "you are outdated," ''part of the old culture" and a "dumb female". She also claimed that she was told that her employer “need[s] younger workers”. Court papers state that Rael was replaced by her employer with a man in his 20s.
The jury accepted Rael's claim that she had also been the victim of age harassment, wrongful termination and retaliation, finding that her employers acted with malice, oppression or fraud. The jury awarded Rael $3 million in compensatory damages and a further $28 million in punitive damages.