Residents in California know that there are strong laws in place that expressly forbid discrimination in the workplace based on a variety of factors, often called protected classes. These include gender, race, and religion. Persons over the age of 40 and those with disabilities are also protected classes, meaning that they should not be discriminated against by an employer for their age or because they have a disability.
According to The Los Angeles Times, a longtime employee of and columnist for the paper has recently been awarded a large sum by a jury for alleged workplace discrimination based on age and disability. The man first began working at the paper in 1990 and since 2000 was a regular columnist. Reports indicate his work was consistent with high quality, earning him positive performance reviews.
In the spring of 2013, he experienced a mild stroke after which time he said his work was criticized until he was fired in the fall of that year. Now, at the age of 65, the man has been awarded a settlement with a cumulative value of more than $7 million. The settlement includes damages for pain and suffering, future economic damage, and lost wages. The newspaper has indicated that it plans to appeal the decision. No timeline is yet known as to when that might happen.
The original trial lasted for six weeks and the jury deliberated for two days before returning the verdict. The paper alleges that the plaintiff quit after he failed to inform them of a potentially conflicting relationship.