Recently, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office in Florida reached a settlement with several former workers who claimed the department was guilty of age discrimination.
The alleged act took place more than two years ago, when six ex-workers were let go for what they perceived as age discrimination. Two of the six plaintiffs had worked in the office since 1993. All six plaintiffs, age 56, were forced to resign or retire in late 2008 or early 2009. The Sheriff's Office allegedly told them the department was "going in a different direction."
"None of them did anything wrong," said Cynthia Sass, who represented the ex-workers. "There was no cause to terminate them. The evidence uncovered in the litigation demonstrated that the only reason these six individuals lost their livelihood and their careers was because they were older."
To avoid entering a bigger legal case, the department settled with the plaintiffs for $2 million, which will be covered by a self-insurance fund under an insurance arrangement the department has with several sheriff's agencies in the state.
This highlights the importance of companies having proper business insurance coverage in case unexpected expenses arise, such as those associated with alleged improper employment practices.