Skip to comments.Young manager harassing Baby Boomer leads to EEOC fine
Posted on 03/07/2007 2:34:46 PM PST by qam1
What happens when a twenty-something manager tells an older worker to turn up her hearing aid or take an herbal memory medicine? In this Oregon case, it got the employer in trouble with the feds.
Scott and Patty Corp., formerly Woodburn Fertilizer, Inc., agreed recently to pay Carolyn Arzino, a former longtime 55-year-old accounting secretary, $85,000 to settle age discrimination claims brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The case arose, agency trial attorney Teri Healy told The Oregonian, from the actions of a female manager in her 20s, who criticized Arzino's work, telling her, among other things, that she should take ginkgo biloba, an herbal memory tonic, and turn up the volume on her Miracle Ear.
The manager gave Arzino a poor performance evaluation, withheld her raise and placed her on a 30-day probation before firing her on July 20, 2004, according to the EEOC's complaint. But EEOCs investigation revealed that Arzinos coworkers said she was an exceptional performer.
Scott and Patty Corp. denied liability.
This case, noted EEOC district director Joan Ehrlich, illustrates a phenomenon of today's workplace: It spans four generations -- Millennials, Gen Xers, Baby Boomers and the last of the Silent Generation born before the end of World War II -- and their members don't always speak the same language or work quite the same way. Employers need to be aware and sensitive to those dynamics.
Federal workplace discrimination laws were passed by Congress at a time when state governments could not be trusted to enforce equal rights -- often as not, they were as guilty as any company they were supposed to regulate. You could make a case that the EEOA, and a lot of other federal civil rights laws, are no longer necessary, and that the states could take over that duty -- but politically, no one's gonna want to touch that.
The odds are pretty good that a "longtime 55-year-old accounting secretary" was never a hippie, just a longtime productive worker.
It is the EEOC's job to enforce Federal law in employment disputes where discrimination occurs due to someone's age, race, sex or religion.
For more information, contact EEOC.gov.
I'd like to know the context in which these were delivered. If it's during an evaluation and as an excuse for substandard work the employee says;
1. "I'm having trouble remembering things" then the herbal suggestion would have been helpful.
2. "I'm a having trouble hearing things"
Do you have a hearing aid?
"Yes, it's a miracle Ear."
Try turning it up.
Having been involved with the EEOC in the past, unless you are part of a protected minority being a business person is the same as being guilty.
I was never a "hippy" and was born in 1960, which makes me a "baby boomer", right? You going to "bust" on me, friend?
I remember a temporary assignment that I went on in early 1998, where I had to do data entry for a law firm. My boss and co-workers were great...except for one 20-something-looking female, who wanted to boss me and other people around big-time, but sucked up like crazy to the management (judging from the one time I saw such an interaction). I hope she has a better attitude these days.
The boomers in highly skilled positions are very carefully filtering those who will follow in our footsteps. If "busting on baby boomers" is your style, be assured that you won't be among the select few that are mentored to replace us when we are ready to retire.
Well, there are two other ways she could have gotten the manger's position. One is, she was qualified. That doesn't seem to be the case. The other involves extreme friendliness with a male superior.
Her opinion? "When the Baby Boomers retire there are going to be a lot of businesses that go bankrupt."
I think 20 is the new 10.
I wouldn't even call them adolescents. They have the manners of children. (And no, it's not because I'm older that I think this way. They truly have regressed.)
I saw a similar thing while I was at PacBell. The new self-interested upper management decided that the best way to improve the value of their stock options was to perform drastic cost cutting. Over 6,000 employees took "early retirement" in Nov/Dec 1991. A big savings in salary, but a terrible loss of "corporate memory". Out of 800 outstanding IT projects, only 360 had any hope of continuing because there was no longer the expertise to do the job. On 180 of those were even attempted and most were stunning failures as the outsourced help was clueless about the way all the operational support systems interacted.
I'm 50 right now and working hard to capture the wisdom of the senior engineers and physicists before they choose to retire. I typically work 70 hour weeks. It's hard as hell to find intelligent, skilled people with clean records and the necessary work ethics to work in my environment. It's a pressure cooker with a very high attrition rate. We have one 23 year old who looks like he is going to be a keeper.
Well, they had some great role models: not a day goes by that I'm not reminded that the boomers invented sex, drugs, rebellion, rock 'n' roll and mutual funds....
Of course the definition of 'children' keeps going up so the boomers don't feel like they are getting old. How many times have you heard about 'the kids' in Iraq? I'm sick of it--I'm 39 and I'm 'the kid' of the office!. As far as 50 being the new 30? Not so much you wrinkled old bats, you may be wearing pointy shoes with heels and slinky clothes, but your head still looks like it was sewn together out of beef jerky....
For not being a monolithic bloc, the boomers certainly do stick up for each other. And don't give me that: "Some of them were combat vets and served in Vietnam" crap--it's a tiny percentage of the generation. That may be more true here at FR, but over all, not.
Which reminds me:
I go to a lot of Vietnam Memorials--I've got 16 years in the Army myself. I've started to wonder how many of the 'long suffering, never came home vets' at these memorials wearing parts of uniforms and indian beads and crap are actually veterans of anything!
I go to the Bataan Veterans' memorial here in NM every year: I've never seen WWII, Korean or Gulf War vets wearing uniform parts, ponytails, indian feathers, beads and crap and 'FTA' t-shirts.
God bless the Freeper Boomers, especially the VN vets, but don't wear uniform parts and indian beads and ponytails and crap 'cuz you'll look like a bum.
I'm 39 and I work in defense as an electrical engineer. I've seen the same thing: I'm pretty much the youngest engineer in the office--'cuz they didn't hire anyone in the 'defense procurement holiday' of the Bill Clinton All Boomer All the Time administration.
I'll be the junior guy by default for the next ten years, then they'll retire and I'll be promoting myself.
They won't pass the torch, you've gotta stomp it out of their boney old fingers, but at least I will be paying for their viagra and hormone replacemets as they try to cheat the reaper for a few more summers of love....
It was probably a federal (rather than state) law that was violated.
I was an Air Force wife. My sister was a Navy wife. Next sister married early to a guy who worked at Allison's. Youngest sister became a nurse. Brother is an electrician.
No hippies here, nor with any of our friends.
One thing I can truthfully say about my generation: most were not as rude as you are.
Listen up kid. I was busting on the hippies before you were a gleam in your daddy's eye.
Actually, I think of 50 as the new 40. Youth -- mentally, anyway -- seems to have been prolonged by about 10 years.
If it seems like more, that's because of the Botox. ;-)
I dunno, most of the boomers I knew left their families to 'go find themselves'. I only know a couple of people my age, 39, whose parents are still together.
Sometimes it seems as though every weird, angry old hippie woman between 50 and 70 left their husbands and moved to Santa Fe.
As far as being rude goes, you've never been to a Whole Foods....
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