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Former Employees Sue Local Defense Contractor for Age Discrimination Terminations

On August 14, 2013, 12 former employees of Mission Solutions Engineering (MSE) filed suit in federal court alleging that their terminations constituted age discrimination. The plaintiffs are seeking back pay, damages and counsel fees.

According to the local press, the company, located in Moorestown, New Jersey, is a defense contractor. In January 2012, the company laid off 68 of its approximately 500 employees, allegedly due to federal funding cuts, according to the company. But according to their lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that they were let go as “part of a broader plan by MSE to reduce the age of its workforce.”

Among the plaintiffs are:

  • Seven engineers
  • Three computer scientists
  • Two employees with more than 30 years with the company
  • Four employees with more than 20 years with the company
  • Frank Higgins who is 68, according to the lawsuit, “was frequently encouraged by his manager to consider retirement and badgered about his decision not to retire.”

The plaintiffs’ claims are typical of an age discrimination wrongful termination lawsuit. Employers never attribute terminations to age, but rather use excuses such as the need to reduce expenses. While older employees are likely to be the ones who are the most experienced, at the same time, the most experienced employees are likely the ones whose salaries are the highest. So terminating older employees yields greater cost reductions than terminating younger employees.

No matter what excuse an employer gives, if an employee’s age motivates termination decisions, the employer is engaging in illegal age discrimination.

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Neil H. Deutsch
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About Neil H. Deutsch has been practicing law for over 35 years and is known as a skilled negotiator in employment and discrimination law. He believes in a bottom-line approach of risk analysis and cost effectiveness for his clients. "Case evaluation is something we take seriously," says Mr. Deutsch who seeks top net dollar for…

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Bruce L. Atkins
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About Bruce L. Atkins is regarded as one of New Jersey’s premier practitioners of employment and civil litigation. He has been selected to the New Jersey Super Lawyers prestigious list every year since 2005.  This honor, bestowed upon a recipient by the votes of his peers, is a powerful nod to the skill Mr. Atkins…

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Adam J. Kleinfeldt
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About Adam J. Kleinfeldt joined Deutsch Atkins, P.C. in March of 2015.  He primarily represents individuals in employment litigations such as discrimination, retaliation, and whistle blowing matters.  He has extensive experience in all phases of the litigation process. Adam has obtained significant results for some of his clients, including a $525,000 jury verdict in a…

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Diane Englander Peyser
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About Diane Englander Peyser joined Deutsch Atkins, PC in September 2018 where she represents employees in wrongful termination, retaliation, harassment, and discrimination matters. Prior to joining Deutsch Atkins, PC, Diane represented clients in all aspects of employment law on behalf of employees involving unemployment appeals, claims of sexual harassment, LGBT discrimination, disability discrimination, FMLA, New…

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Debra M. McGarvey
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About Debra M. McGarvey joined Deutsch Atkins, P.C. in December 2019. She has extensive experience defending employees and employers in state and federal court in employment litigation matters. She has represented clients on various issues arising out of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), the Americans…

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