Note: we are republishing this story amid recent reports of increased age discrimination in the workplace. 36% of surveyed workers over 40 believe their age has prevented them from getting a job since they turned 40. More on this here: https://www.seniorliving.org/research/age-discrimination-statistics-facts/
Ida Gomez Llanos is suing the Delta Airlines, claiming that she was the victim of a smear campaign perpetrated by her colleagues who were envious of her perks and salaries. She maintains that they were encouraged by managers who were looking to replace her with younger and cheaper staff.
The 79-year-old has worked for the airline for over 57 years, receiving annual pay increases which had accumulated to $250,000 by the time she was fired, compared to the average $50,000 flight attendant salary outlined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The suit, filed in a Los Angeles court this month, claims that Llanos was harassed and bullied by her colleagues, and instead of helping her, the bosses wrote her up and finally fired her.
She told DailyMailTV that she was fired for taking a carton of milk off the plane, despite the fact that she had received permission from her line manager.
She said, “I couldn’t believe it. I’ve been accused of so many things and none were true. I try not to take it personally, but when you get mean about me and start lying, that is a problem.”
“They accused me of sleeping, of taking chocolates, not doing a good job – but my letters from passengers proved that wrong. They accused me of not being able to arm or disarm the doors. But we all go through training every year, and we have to pass that training or we do not fly,” she added.
The lawsuit highlighted Llanos’ spotless record, which included countless positive reviews and a number of company awards.
Despite this, the bosses gladly wrote her up.
She said, “They want to get rid of the older flight attendants. I think they put us on a higher surveillance. It’s because they have to pay us so much because we’ve been there forever and your pay scale goes up each year. I think they can hire four newer flight attendants for what they pay me.”
The lawsuit stated that she received her first write up in 55 years in February 2018, and after more warnings, was put on probation in January 2019. She was then fired in April.
She told DailyMailTV, “It was just demoralizing. I was very depressed, because my life as I knew it had been taken away, and I didn’t understand why. I thought it was wrong.”
Speaking to DailyMailTV, a spokesperson for Delta Airlines said: “When a violation of company policy is identified or inappropriate conduct is reported, Delta conducts a thorough investigation to determine the appropriate course of action – considering many factors, including the employee’s overall performance record and length of service. Decisions like these are not made lightly or without a comprehensive review by many.”
Sources: Daily Mail