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Thursday, July 18, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

$1.1 Million Award for Age Discrimination

ST. LOUIS (CN) - A St. Louis City jury awarded $1.14 million to a man who claimed he was laid off by the Missouri Department of Public Safety due to his age.

Timothy Barber was let go from the department's Division of Alcohol & Tobacco Control in November 2009 for what he was told was budget reasons.

Barber, now 61, spent nearly 30 years on the job and was the fourth most senior among special agents in Missouri.

Two other senior special agents were let go with Barber, but the four youngest special agents with less seniority did not lose their jobs.

Barber's attorneys, Jerome Dobson and Brian Love, claimed the layoffs went against 30 years of prior practice, in which layoffs were made in reverse order of time served with the department.

Barber's supervisor, Lafayette Lacy, testified that he laid off more-senior workers because eliminating the higher salaries would save more jobs, Dobson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Dobson claimed that the savings weren't significant.

Barber eventually was offered his job back, on the condition that he drop his discrimination suit, Dobson said. Barber refused.

The jury awarded Barber $540,000 in actual damages and $600,000 in punitive damages.

Barber's attorneys originally asked the jury for three years worth of lost compensation minus what he gets in retirement money, according to the Post-Dispatch. Barber had a $48,000 base salary, and brought home $56,000 annually with overtime.

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