Magazine article American Banker

Age Discrimination Systemic at FDIC, $25 Million Suit Says

Magazine article American Banker

Age Discrimination Systemic at FDIC, $25 Million Suit Says

Article excerpt

A restructuring of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. last year may be coming back to haunt the agency.

Several current and former employees have filed an age discrimination lawsuit against it seeking "at least" $25 million.

The class action says that since 1995 the FDIC has used its reorganizations, including its most recent, to eliminate older employees' positions in favor of younger ones, to force senior workers to reapply for jobs with less responsibility, and to deny promotions to those over 40.

The FDIC's "policy of illegal age discrimination has been so regular, so pervasive, so humiliating, and so unrelenting," the complaint says, "as to have created a systemically abusive and hostile work environment that sends the message: 'If you are more than 40 years old, the FDIC wants you out.' "

Most of the plaintiffs were caught up in last year's reorganization, when the agency instituted a buyout program that cut 700 jobs, closed two regional offices, and merged four of its divisions into two.

Many older employees had to retire or were denied promotions in favor of younger employees as a result of the restructuring, the suit says.

Marvin Armstrong, a supervisor of the Oklahoma City field office, was told he had to reapply for his own job last summer, the complaint says. In August, he learned that the post had been given "to a younger, less qualified individual."

A "senior employee whose initials were 'D.H.' " became despondent after he moved his family to Atlanta at the agency's request, only to lose his job shortly thereafter when the agency closed its Atlanta office, the suit says. …

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