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Court sides with former RadioShack employee in EEOC age bias, retaliation suit


A unanimous jury in federal court in Denver decided against RadioShack Corp. in an age discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

In 2007, David Nelson, then 55, believed he was discriminated against due to his age after being placed on two performance improvement plans by a regional manager, according to court documents.

Five days after complaining to human resource department about the age discrimination, Mr. Nelson was terminated.

The EEOC in 2010 filed the lawsuit on behalf of Mr. Nelson after failing to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process, seeking back pay, lost benefits, liquidated damages, and reinstatement for Mr. Nelson in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado in Denver.

“With the graying of the workforce, employers may not base employment decisions on age-based stereotypes — it is unlawful,” William Moench, senior trial attorney for the EEOC said in a statement Wednesday. “There was credible testimony during the trial that when a new supervisor started at RadioShack he made a derogatory comment about employees in their 50’s.”

A unanimous nine-person jury decided that Fort Worth, Texas-based RadioShack’s conduct was willful for intentionally firing Mr. Nelson in retaliation for his complaints about age discrimination.

As part of the verdict, Mr. Nelson was awarded $187,000 in back pay, among other damages to be specified at a later date.

RadioShack said it does not comment on pending litigation.

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