By JW Law
Date: December 2016
Attorney: Andrew Moskowitz
Javerbaum Wurgaft Hicks Kahn Wikstrom & Sinins, P.C. would like to congratulate, Andrew Moskowitz, of our Springfield office, for obtaining a $375,000 settlement in age discrimination lawsuit against Kean University.
The university agreed to settle with William DeGarcia, a former administrator, for $375,000 after he alleged that the college discriminated against him for his age. Mr. DeGarcia worked for Kean for nearly thirty-three (33) years.
At the end of August 2009, he was appointed as Acting Director II (D30) of the Exceptional Educational Opportunities/Educational Opportunity Fund (“EEO/EOF”) Program. The EEO/EOF was subsequently combined with Kean’s Spanish Speaking Program and Passport Program and renamed the Educational Opportunities Center (EOC).
After nearly three and half years as Acting Director of the EOC and its predecessor, Mr. DeGarcia was informed in January 2013 that he had not been chosen for the permanent Director position and that; as a result, his employment was being terminated. At the time of his termination, Mr. DeGarcia was fifty-five (55) years old. Kean had prepared a list of employees with 25+ years of experience – which included Mr. DeGarcia – whom Kean sought to “transition to retirement.”
The individual chosen instead was a 37-year old with no managerial experience. Also, the individual who chaired one of the search committees repeatedly told Mr. DeGarcia that he had “been at Kean too long” and that she wanted “new blood” in the Department.
Finally, there was testimony that Kean’s President had stated to Kean’s Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs that he had brought Mr. DeGarcia in to clean up the “mess at EOF” and that, “when it was all set up and running well, then he was going to fire him” because Mr. DeGarcia “had outlasted his usefulness.”
News of the agreement was reported by NJ.com.
Do you think you are being unfairly discriminated against because of age? Contact Javerbaum Wurgaft Hicks Kahn Wikstrom & Sinins. Our attorneys provide comprehensive legal representation to individuals who have been discriminated against in the workplace on the basis of gender, disability, race, age, and more. Call for a consultation to discuss your case and learn more about your legal rights at (973) 379-4200.
NOTE: Any information about verdicts or settlements obtained are based on the unique facts of each case. This amount reflects the gross recovery in the case (before attorneys’ fees and expenses are deducted).