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Newswoman Must Amend Age Complaint

FRESNO, Calif. (CN) - A former news anchor must amend her claims that Nexstar Broadcasting let her go after 28 years because of her age, a federal judge ruled.

Faith Sidlow and her former co-workers Richard Nitido, both older than 40, failed to prove that the television company discriminated against them because of their age, U.S. District Judge Troy Nunley ruled on March 10.

Sidlow began working as a newsroom assistant for KSEE-24, in Fresno in 1985. She was promoted to reporter that year and eventually to news anchor, according to her complaint, originally filed in Fresno County Court.

Nexstar laid her off in 2013, claiming it needed to reduce costs and increase profits.

Sidlow claims she was not offered a severance commensurate with company policy.

Nitido claimed he was recruited away from Disney-owned KFSN, where he had worked for 26 years, to work for Nexstar as a creative services director. Nexstar let him go after a year.

Both plaintiffs claimed that "the procedure used to select employees for layoff had a disparate impact on older workers. Almost all of the employees selected for layoff were over the age of 40."

But Judge Nunley found that Sidlow and Nitido did not show that the station intentionally discriminated against them because of their age.

"Plaintiffs simply point to a policy that has an allegedly disparate impact on employees over the age of 40. Plaintiffs do not provide sufficient facts to support their allegation that age was a substantial motivating reason for defendants' conduct in terminating plaintiffs or that defendant intended to discriminate against this protected class," Nunley wrote.

He gave them 30 days to amend their disparate treatment claims.

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