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Suit Alleges that Best Buy Violated Age-Discrimination Laws

November 19, 2004
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Forty-four former IT employees of Best Buy are suing the company for age discrimination.

The class-action suit alleges that the Richfield, Minnesota-based retailer laid off the group and other employees based on their ages. According to a statement from Gray Plant of Mooty Mooty & Bennett, the law firm representing the employees, the plaintiffs range in age from 40 to 71, and the average age at the time of their terminations this year and last year was 51.

The terminations, according to the law firm, were a part of Best Buy's strategy to outsource technology work to Accenture.

Stephen Snyder, lead attorney for the employees, says that "many of them had received strong performance ratings and bonuses at their most recent reviews."

Best Buy spokeswoman Susan Busch told Workforce Management, "We do believe these claims are without merit and intend to vigorously defend the action." Busch did not comment further.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard--but has yet to decide--an age-discrimination case that revolves around "disparate impact," or whether it is illegal to unintentionally discriminate against older workers in employment decisions such as terminations.

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