Fired Orange County Register Employee Sues For Alleged Age Discrimination

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A 36-year Orange County Register employee fired in October from her job as an advertising account executive filed a lawsuit this month against the newspaper and its parent company, Freedom Communications, alleging age discrimination.

Laura Meyers claims she was fired at the age of 53 "without good cause" after compiling a "good record of employment, including her generally consistent success in meeting reasonable sales quota expectations," according to the lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court.

Meyers' manager at the Register told her he was terminating her from the job because she was "not on plan."

But Meyers, who began working at the Register in Sept. 1977, noted that her 1996 performance evaluation labeled her an employee that "knows more about the Register than most which enables her to successfully problem solve and get things done."

A 2003 management evaluation called her "a grand Register ambassador."

Meyers, who earned between $93,000 and $123,000 annually in recent years, claims newer management manufactured criticism to build a false case of poor performance, according to the lawsuit.

She calculated her firing cost her $892,200 in future earnings and benefits, and is hoping an eventual jury agrees.

The case, which has not yet drawn an official response from Register lawyers, is assigned to Superior Court Judge David Chaffee in Santa Ana.

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Email: rscottmoxley@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @RScottMoxley.

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20 comments
alpacarules
alpacarules

Go Laura! She had a stellar reputation at the newspaper from what co-workers have said. Upper Management wanted to cut all top performers who made too much and then change comp plans of all Reps. Their HR/Legal Dept must be asleep at the wheel or part of the problem.

volleballz
volleballz

After years, and I mean YEARS of consistent, quality employment by the OCR my mother was placed into a position she wasn't qualified for.  She suffered through months of harassment and be belittling, when she finally had enough and gave notice she was told "finally!" "we were surprised you made it this long" by her direct manager.  The OC Register should be sued in a class action on behalf of all employees that were pushed out due to the management change overs.  It's a shame, my grandfather was employed there for over 40 years, my Mom and my Aunt also spent decades giving them their dedication.  Only to be shat on by an investment company that out sourced everything, and shut out the heart of who the register was.  

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

Honestly, I'd be thoroughly ashamed to be tagged as "a grand Register ambassador."  


But hopefully, she can get a settlement...and not from the Monopoly money that Kushner & Spitz's secret "investors" will be using to bid on the L.A. Times.  Btw is that $892,200 figure net of matching 401(k) contributions -- which don't exist anymore?  LOL


ShouldKnowBetter
ShouldKnowBetter


Do the math!


The average person will not take a company to court if fired. A termination for cause relieves the company from providing any severance. They fire the oldest who happen to have the highest compensation.


artpedroza
artpedroza

I hope she wins her lawsuit.  I don't doubt for a minute that she was forced out due to her age.

Derek Boyes
Derek Boyes

Maybe if the loser had to pay for the other party's legal bills and associated court costs....people would be less likely to sue.

Brainwashed_in_church
Brainwashed_in_church topcommenter

A) The Register and any other big corporation knows EXACTLY what they're doing. They have big lawyers who know the law. Plenty of documentation with her signature on it will prevent her from winning. No way is a big corporation going to risk losing a lawsuit.

B) It's a tough situation when someone making $100K+ isn't performing twice as high as two $50K employees. This is true for anyone over 50 (or making significantly more than someone who can come close to replacing them for half their salary).

C) Fifty+ year old people making $100K+ get laid off every day. Everyone claims to be a high performer. 

D) Yes, I feel bad for her. It could be me or you tomorrow.

fightbullies
fightbullies

OCR's new owners and many senior management are abusive.  Employees are afraid to go to HR to make formal complaints. People need their jobs at OCR so they keep their mouths shut and take the abuse because there are few job options in this still struggling economy. 

Laura was a wonderful employee who did not deserve the bad treatment she received. 

OCR is owned and controlled by bullies who do not care how bad the employees are treated or how miserable employees are. The attitude is, ''we can treat you like crap and you better like it or you can just leave'' 

What OCR did and how they treated Laura was wrong on so many levels. I sincerely hope she wins her case and more against this tyrant of a company.





Joseph Amaya
Joseph Amaya

Rick thanks for the unsolicited input I will try to skip headlines and go straight to the body next time ..

Rick Hale
Rick Hale

Pays to read AND comprehend, Joseph. (the headline got me, too)

18usc241
18usc241

"claims newer management manufactured criticism to build a false case of poor performance, according to the lawsuit."

Wow, sounds like stuff out of the playbook of corrupt Orange County, CA cops trying to deliberately destroy the reputation of good cops. Incredible coincidence.

ExOCRadExecutive
ExOCRadExecutive

I didn't know they were still using that excuse. You would think they would come up with something different. My fault was I didn't stand up for myself even though I had documentation proving no wrong was done on my part. I was afraid to make people look bad and didn't want the new management to think I was just a complainer or a weasel. Little did I know it would mean the end of my job though I'm pretty sure it would not have mattered anyway. Considering managers were telling non-managers who they planned on trying to get rid of, in order, it would have been a waste of time on my part. It was just good for these managers that before the people they made privy to the information (who had no right to know and should never have been told) these privy people were laid off/let go or fired before they went to HR. 

Dan Barrett
Dan Barrett

Have her call me I need help 949 566 5446.

Joseph Amaya
Joseph Amaya

Doesn't age discrimination protection start at 40yrs? Doh!

Coschem
Coschem

The losers do have to pay the other party's legal bills and court costs.



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