A former worker in the city of Winner’s parks and cemetery department claims he was passed over for a job in the street department because he was too old.
Vern Olson also claims to have been forced to resign after he complained about not getting the job. Olson has filed a lawsuit against the city.
In 2014, Olson approached the former street department supervisor about transferring and was told the city needs to hire younger people, according to the complaint.
In the summer of 2015 when a new supervisor had taken over the department, Olson had applied for a opening in the department.
At that time, Olson was 54. He held a commercial driver’s license and had 30 years of experience operating heavy equipment. Despite meeting the qualifications, Olson and two older applicants were not interviewed.
The city subsequently re-advertised the position, hiring a 31-year-old who had no CDL and less experience operating heavy equipment, according to Olson’s complaint.
The new employee also made more than Olson who had been with the city since 2010.
Olson complained and according to his complaint, was approached by city officials after he returned from a vacation and told that he had to submit a letter of resignation by the end of the day or he would lose his accrued vacation and sick time.
The lawsuit claims that the city “subjected Olson to arbitrary age discrimination in employment.”