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Philadelphia Phillies Sued for Age Discrimination
8/25/2006
 
ROBIN'S PERSPECTIVE: Mark "Frog" Carfagno -- a groundskeeper for the Philadelphia Phillies for more than 30 years -- has hit the big league baseball franchise with a big league federal lawsuit, claiming that he was fired because of illegal age discrimination.

Frog was an institution with the team -- having started as a groundskeeper at age 17, and earning mini-celebrity status over the years. He spoke publicly about how much he loved his job and the team, was apparently well-regarded by the players, and was even acknowledged in a book written by a former Phillie.

Frog's story is not unlike what happens to so many older workers today -- except in this case, if the pleadings are correct, Frog's boss was just more obvious about his discriminatory motives than are most bosses in corporate America. In Frog's case, trouble started brewing when he was age 50 -- and his new supervisor, age 29, allegedly made comments about the older groundskeepers being a "bunch of @#%* geriatrics", told the younger groundskeepers to "take the old guy with you", and repeatedly asked Frog when he would be retiring. When the degradation didn't result in getting Frog to quit, he was fired.

It's interesting that at the same time this case was filed, one of the major news magazines published a story that 43% of all marathon runners today are over age 40. Maybe someone should mail that clip to the Phillies management. With facts like Frog's, you've got to wonder why the team didn't work this one out privately.

 
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Robin Bond
 
Robin Bond, Esq.
 
 
Workplace Legal Analyst


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