A Sagging Mousketeer — Walt Disney Co Sued for Age Discrimination

Mickey is charged with being an ageist rat by a Los Angeles County law suit for age discrimination by Disneyland [The Walt Disney Company].  The complaint alleges not just bad behavior, but bad jokes.  The jokes were age jokes by peers or subordinates who allegedly ribbed the 63 year-old plaintiff as “old.”  Well, yeah.

But the issue is whether the statements, which are apparently not contested as having some age reference, were a) statements of illegal bias and b) made by someone who actually made the decision to fire the “old” guy.  Mickey claims his sagging mouseketeer engaged in sexual harassment and so was fired for cause, not because of age.

This case is not a Court of Appeal decision, but is only an early pleaded case being subjected to first scrutiny by a judge for merit to proceed to trial.  The case does address however a common element of proof in any bias case: that the biased statements offered as proof of discrimination are those of the person making the firing decision, or at least, that the person firing the employee was influenced by the statements.

[Lipstiz vs. Walt Disney Pictures BC582284, filed L.A. Super. 5-19-15]