According to KnoxNews.com, Former Jewelry Television vice president Steve Gordon is suing JTV for age discrimination. He also alleges that JTV was involved in a plot to weed out all the employees who accrued high health care costs--known in legalese fancy talk as “a pretextual guise for discriminatory conduct.”
Steve was laid off as part of the company-wide workforce reduction back in May of last year. However, a month before he was terminated, Gordon said he met with two Jewelry Television executives who discussed the company’s increasing health-care costs, including those associated with his cancer treatment.
Steve was hired in 2004 after being recruited by then-CEO Robert Hall and then diagnosed with a type of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma cancer in 2005. He claims that he was replaced with younger people (i.e. healthier), that they re-hired certain people, and that they tended to hire friends and family.
The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, maintains that Jewelry Television sought to eliminate employees who threatened the company’s objective of an independent public offering by increasing health insurance or workers’ compensation premiums. Steve is seeking $10 million in damages.
After the whole Andesine Labradorite debacle and jewelry sales being down across the board, JTV needs another lawsuit like it needs a hole in the head. I hope this isn't true. I hope that they aren't so heartless as to pull the rug out from someone diagnosed with cancer. But I know the realities of corporate America and nothing surprises me anymore.