Ex-Universal McCann Exec Files Age Bias Lawsuit

17 May 2006

A US media executive is suing his former employer over alleged age discrimination.

George Hayes (54) claims Interpublic Group-owned Universal McCann, where he worked for 30 years, wrongfully dismissed him in its quest for modernization in the digital world.

Hayes claims that Universal McCann's worldwide ceo Nick Brien, since his arrival last fall at the ripe old age of thirty-four, had "value[d] youth instead of experience and desired younger persons in place of older persons and acted upon his discriminatory preference by terminating older persons, because of their age".

The lawsuit, filed in New York, states: "The ultimate goal of Universal-McCann was to replace its older workers with younger employees, based not on performance, but on [the firm's] discriminatory desire to create a more youthful image."

Hayes learned he was being dismissed in December last year, with the reason given that he did not have 'the skill set' needed to remain employed, the lawsuit says.

U-M remains zip-lipped.

Data sourced from AdAge.com; additional content by WARC staff