Ex-Merck & Co., Inc. Worker: I Was Fired Over My Age
Published: Jan 10, 2013
There is a refrain in a famous song by The Beatles that asks ‘Will you still need me? Will you still feed me? When I’m 64?’ For Geraldine Greco, a former Merck employee, the answer was a resounding no, at least according to an age discrimination lawsuit filed recently by the 62-year-old administrative assistant. In court documents, Greco alleges that the drugmaker used an incorrect interpretation of sick leave policy as the basis for firing her in 2011 after she spent nearly 13 years on the job. In late 2010, she took medical leave for four months because she faced surgery and follow-up medical visits after her return sometimes required her to take “sick time.” Greco believes she was targeted after attending a meeting for employees, particularly men and women over 55 years of age, who were invited to an informational retirement session that was given by Merck’s union president, the lawsuit states. She declined to retire and claims that scrutiny of her time records then began. Greco, who maintains she had a good performance and record was never informed by human resources that her sick leave was inappropriate or jeopardizing her job, also charges that within a few weeks of her dismissal, a younger woman – purportedly someone who was 35 years old – was hired for her position.