One of the lawsuits, Clausnitzer et. al. v. FedEx, claims that FedEx has a nationwide practice of "discriminating based upon age against its couriers who are over the age of 40 and who have ten or more years of service." Plaintiffs claim that FedEx does this by managing its "Best Practices Pays" (BPP) and "Minimum Acceptable Performance Standards" (MAPS) programs in ways that discriminate against people who are over 40. They also allege that MAPS and BPP are managed in ways that allow FedEx to force older couriers to either quit or lose their jobs while younger couriers face no such difficulties.
The plaintiffs also claim that younger couriers receive favorable starting times, overtime assignments, route assignments, production goals, discipline, and performance evaluations even though they may be less experienced than older couriers. The lead plaintiff in the case, Clausnitzer, further claims that as a result of the lawsuit, he has been targeted by FedEx managers, given unrealistic performance standards, and given new routes with early pickups and additional bulk stops.
The lawsuit is seeking loss of income and the value of fringe benefits, liquidated damages, pre-judgment interest, costs of litigation, and any other awards as the court sees to be just.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967 protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from discrimination. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) it is illegal to discriminate against people over the age of 40 in any aspect of employment. This includes:
- Hiring and firing;
- Compensation or classification of employees;
- Job advertisements;
- Pay, retirement plans, fringe benefits and disability leave; or
- Use of company facilities.
Federal Express has been in trouble in the past for discrimination and retaliation against employees. In one case, FedEx was ordered back in 2004 to pay $1.57 million to a 21-year employee after he was the victim of workplace discrimination. Furthermore, the plaintiff also noted that when he filed his complaint, company managers retaliated against him, including offering him an ultimatum: he could either accept a demotion, including a drop of five pay grade levels, or be issued a warning letter with the understanding that he could be immediately terminated for any further mistakes.
In another discrimination case against Federal Express, a woman was awarded $2.5 million in punitive damages, $350,000 for compensatory damages, and $391,400 in back pay and front pay. The lawsuit claimed that the woman was subjected to sex discrimination and that after some made complaints about work-place hostility the brakes to her truck were sabotaged and she suffered other forms of retaliation.
People who are subjected to age discrimination who file lawsuits may receive relief in the form of back pay, hiring, reinstatement, front pay, or actions to make the individual "whole" (meaning that the individual is in the condition he or she would have been in if not for the discriminatory act). Compensatory and punitive damages may also be awarded.