An employee of Volkswagen in Tennessee has sued the carmaker alleging there has been system-wide discrimination against workers who are older following the huge emissions scandal that destroyed the reputations of the company.
Jonathan Manlove, who is a former assistant manager for the automaker at its plant in Tennessee said that he was demoted as part of the effort made by the company to shed an “old diesel image” in order to appear to be more of a young, modern company that is focused on efficiency, productivity and technology, says the complaint that was filed on Friday in a federal court in Chattanooga.
Manlove, who is 53, said he was demoted in a company-wide effort dedicated to eliminating the older employees from the payroll and replace them with workers who are younger.
Even though the company made an announcement that the implementation of its new policy would be via natural fluctuations, the carmaker instead started to purge older workers through practices that were coercive, said Manlove.
The lawsuit is seeking a court order to prohibit discriminatory practices on the behalf of all VW’s current employees that are aged 50 or older who have been affected.
To date, Volkswagen has had expenses of close to $30 billion since its 2015 admission that it had installed software in close to 11 million of its diesel-engine powered car that allowed those vehicles to determine when a test was taking place in a laboratory setting.
The carmaker was attempting to boost its sales of automobiles it called clean diesel that would conform to emissions standards that were stricter and appeal to consumers that have concerns over the environment.
Two executives with VW have been sent to prison due to the scandal.
In a press released from June of 2017, VW announced that it was expecting its management levels to become slimmer and younger. It said that the company was becoming leaner, slimmer and younger and this will succeed in making VW more efficient and faster while providing at the same time new motivations for its junior managers.
An attorney for Manlove said that the company is intending to shed about 7,000 jobs in the Americas that are being held by workers who were born from 1955 to 1960, who currently are between 63 and 69 years of age, through a scheme of early retirement its calls natural fluctuations.