A 60-year-old financial analyst made a strong enough case that a vaccine company violated federal laws barring age discrimination by refusing to hire him that a Massachusetts federal judge ruled not to dismiss it, Law360 reported.

Instead of hiring the plaintiff, Paul Skowronski, New Jersey-based Seqirus “hired a younger person with equal or lesser qualifications to fill the job from which plaintiff was rejected,” U.S. District Judge Patti B. Saris said. “This is sufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss.”

Seqirus claimed it didn’t hire Skowronski because he was unprofessional during an interview for another position at the company, allegedly asking the interviewer to “please do everything you can” to get the manager to hire him. Skowronski — who is representing himself — shot back, saying he never said such a thing. He did, however, ask the hiring committee for positive feedback.

Skowronski filed his complaint in September accusing Seqirus of violating the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967 when it hired a younger employee for a job Skowronski was “extremely well qualified” for and that in doing so it “exacerbated [Skowronski’s] existing depression and anxiety.”

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the ADEA “forbids age discrimination against people who are age 40 or older. It does not protect workers younger than 40, although some states have laws that protect younger workers from age discrimination. It is not illegal for an employer or other covered entity to favor an older worker over a younger one, even if both workers are age 40 or older. Discrimination can occur when the victim and the person who inflicted the discrimination are both over 40.” The ADEA prevents age-related discrimination in every area of employment including “hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.”

Larry Golston, Lauren Miles and Leon Hampton are lawyers in our firm’s Consumer Fraud & Commercial Litigation Section who handle matters of employment law such as claims of workplace discrimination, including discrimination based on age, race and gender. Additionally, they investigate claims related to sexual harassment in the workplace and other circumstances where an employee might be subjected to a hostile workplace. If you think you have been a victim of workplace discrimination, it is important to seek the immediate advice of an employment lawyer. Contact us to discuss a possible claim.

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