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Altoona Water Authority in hot water for discrimination case

When a custodian was fired, it immediately drew attention. Now, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has stated that the Altoona Water Authority did violate the custodian's rights by firing him. According to the man's claims, his supervisor continually harassed him and even said he was a "fat, broke-down old man." He reported the incident and was fired shortly after.

The EEOC believes that firing the custodian violated the man's right to file a claim without retaliation and also violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act forbidding employers to discriminate against employees who have made age discrimination claims and charges against a company or individual.

Initially, the EEOC didn't believe that there was a case to be had, but after the EEOC discovered that the Altoona Water Authority used an investigator's findings as a basis to fire the man, the EEOC stepped in. It then claimed that the man was terminated from his position for making "false claims of sexual harassment, retaliation and harassment," but the EEOC points out that these claims are protected by law and that the man could not be fired for making "false" claims if he filed them in good faith.

No matter who you are, you should not have to face discrimination in the workplace. It's unreasonable for employers to be harder on employees who age; everyone does, and it's not appropriate to use that as a reason to fire or retaliate against someone. If age discrimination takes place in your workplace, you have options. You don't need to stand for harassment or discrimination against you.

Source: Altoona Mirror, "EEOC: Altoona Water Authority violated rights," William Kibler, April 16, 2018

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