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Former professor settles age discrimination lawsuit

Discrimination can come in many different forms in the workplace. Race and gender discrimination are probably the most commonly known basis for lawsuits, so our readers may not realize that discrimination can also occur based on a worker's age.

According to a recent article, age discrimination is precisely what occurred to a former professor at Minnesota State University at Moorhead. In a lawsuit filed after her termination in 2015, the professor alleged that the university excluded her from another position at the school based on a requirement that the professor said was age restrictive. The article notes that the professor alleged that for the new position that the professor was interested in, the university required a doctorate degree in "women's and gender studies." The professor claimed that such a degree was not available to earn until about 1995. The professor was 63-years-old at the time. While she didn't have the appropriate degree in women's and gender studies, she did have a doctorate degree in philosophy. In addition, she had reportedly taught classes in the area of women's and gender studies for approximately 20 years.

Fortunately for both sides, a settlement was reached. The recent report notes that the professor will receive $150,000 from the university.

Age discrimination can be difficult for workers in Minnesota to deal with. In many cases, these workers have devoted their entire careers to an area of employment, learning valuable experience and skills along the way. Then, they see their opportunities evaporate as younger, cheaper workers are brought in. But, workers who have been the victim of age discrimination have rights under employment law.

Source:, "Minnesota State Moorhead Settles Age Bias Suit," Colleen Flaherty, June 19, 2017

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