Case Study of Idearc

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Introduction Idearc, a subsidiary of Verizon, fired four male advertising salesmen working in Massachusetts who were over the age of 40 just short of the time when the employees would be able to collect their pensions. The basis for the firings was advertising sales performance that was ranked every six months by net gain year over year. An important consideration in the case is that the cut off for determining poor performing advertising salesmen was changed several times for unclear reasons. The case states only that, "The goal was to terminate between 10 and 15 percent of sales people every year. By 2005, it was clear that far too few employees were being let go, so the agreement was changed." Between 2002 and 2005, the employment agreement between union and Idearc Media stipulated that those employees ranking in the bottom 30 percent by sales advertising results would be terminated. But in 2005, the cutoff for poor ranking sales advertising employees was changed to the bottom 70 percent of sales advertising results. In 2007, the four plaintiffs were fired from their positions. Claiming age discrimination under Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the terminated employees filed suit against Idearc, but they did not prevail at district court or following their appeal to the First Circuit court for Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. The case, as it is described, is not

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