Sacramento, CA (Law Firm Newswire) May 7, 2014 — Even though age and gender discrimination is illegal, it is still happening in California, even within larger corporate entities that know the law.
“YP Holdings Inc., also known as AT&T Advertising Solutions Inc. is the named defendant in yet another age and gender discrimination case against them in California,” says Deborah Barron, a respected business and employee rights lawyer in Sacramento and the attorney of record for this case.
A group of female former AT&T Advertising Solutions employees over the age of 40, with a combined service equivalent of over 99 years, were dismissed from the Yellow Pages Unit of AT&T in 2010. In addition, the women are being denied the opportunity to return to AT&T simply because they had withdrawn or rolled over their AT&T pension plans in late 2010. The alleged conduct violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (1967). Male employees under the age of 40 kept their jobs.
Additionally, AT&T indicated its intentions to close the northern California advertising operations section to consolidate with the southern California operations location. Jobs were offered to everyone. However they were told they must apply for those jobs or they would not have work.
“This closure and transfer beyond commuting distance violates the State of California and federal laws, referred to as the Worker Adjustment And Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act), that require advance notice of closures/transfers,” Barron outlines. Interestingly, AT&T would be on the WARN list, but are not, and neither are any of their other related subsidiaries.
“The male employees with less experience, knowledge and expertise were favored for positions created near the time that the female employees were advised of their dismissal,” states Barron. AT&T denies the female employees even worked for them, which appears to be a difference without a distinction if they suggest they were really employed by another company. “AT&T did not sell their share of the Yellow Pages until 2012. The group of women were dismissed in 2010.”
What happened with the exodus of workers to southern California? The office was closed and the jobs outsourced to India, a move planned in advance of the plaintiff’s termination. AT&T’s ultimate goal was to sell the directory advertising division and show a larger profit. To make that profit a reality, they needed to divest themselves of long-term Union employees with large pensions. The group with the largest pensions were the females terminated in 2010.
AT&T sold a 52 percent stake of the Yellow Pages to a private equity firm called Cerberus Capital Management and secured the name YP Holdings, YP LLC., in the second quarter of 2012. Trial is set for early 2015 in US District Court Sacramento.
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