Employers cannot discriminate against employees based on age! At the age of 64 and a career of more than thirty years, Khan found himself looking for a new job. For more than three decades before the Blackstone Group bought Hilton New York Hotel, Khan received nothing but “glowing reviews”. With new management in house, his reviews changed from top of the line to unsatisfactory. Was it truly his performance or did age play a factor in his dismissal? Manhatten Daily News, Christina Carrega-Woodby reveals the outcome.
A Manhattan jury awarded a 64-year-old former New York Hilton employee $250,000 when they found the Midtown hotel guilty of age discrimination, the Daily News has learned.
Mohammad Khan was 61 in 2012 when his employers forced him to resign and replaced him with two workers who were roughly 40 years his junior.
“I was relieved to get justice. They did something wrong, and they were told by the jury they were wrong,” Khan told The News.
“I did nothing wrong, and they had no cause to fire me,” he said.
Khan had worked at Hilton’s flagship location on Sixth Ave. and W. 53rd St. since 1979.
He was proud to have built a career withm Hilton, said Khan, who’d worked in various front-office positions.
Until February 2012, Khan received glowing reviews in his performance evaluations, according to his lawsuit, filed in Manhattan in 2013.
“This job was my life,” he said.
Khan’s last review was recorded as “unsatisfactory” by his new boss, who was 26.
The new manager placed Khan on probation for six months. The environment at the Midtown location changed for Khan after the corporation was bought by the Blackstone Group, he said.
“Around 2011, the new managers came in and they were all younger,” said Khan.
He was terminated on Oct. 27, 2012. The company refused to give him his pension benefits, according to the suit.
“It’s very hard to find a job at this age,” said Khan, who lives in Queens.
After a five-day trial last week, a jury found that Hilton had discriminated against Khan because of his age and violated his civil rights.
“Age discrimination cases are exceedingly rare where they go to trial and win. It’s all circumstantial and subliminal intentions,” said attorneys Diane and Aymen Aboushi, who represented Khan.
“There was no smoking gun in how they treated him. We won based on witness testimony from former and current employees of the hotel,” said Aymen Aboushi.
Hilton Worldwide said in a statement that it was an equal opportunity employer that values diversity.
“We do not tolerate any form of harassment or discrimination based on any characteristic protected by applicable law,” the company said.
“We are obviously disappointed by the verdict and are considering all available options for responding to this decision.”