The company now known as Altria Group (previously Philip Morris Companies) has been slapped with an age-discrimination lawsuit alleging that firings, hirings, and promotions within Philip Morris illegally considered the ages of candidates and employees.
The lawsuit against Altria Group and Philip Morris International alleges that at career development meetings, the company’s HR department presented PowerPoint slides listing individual employees’ birthdates and depicting the average age of the Brand Integrity department workforce versus the average age of other employees.
Further, the complaint alleges that senior management referred to older employees as “blockers.”
The employment law firm Broach & Stulberg has filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against the company.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of D’Arcy Quinn, 52, the former Philip Morris Brand Integrity Director for Central and Eastern Europe. Quinn served as in-house counsel for international anti-counterfeiting and anti-smuggling matters concerning Marlboro and L&M cigarettes.
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“Despite his excellent job performance, Mr. Quinn’s career was undermined by virulent age discrimination, evidenced by explicit personnel policies, corporate practices, and statements of high-level executives,” says Robert B. Stulberg, a partner at Broach & Stulberg.
“Blatant age discrimination has been standard operating procedure at these companies. Mr. Quinn was discharged when he opposed these illegal acts,” says Stulberg.
However, Altria Group remains tight-lipped on the alleged age discrimination.
“We are not going to have any comment on that case,” says John Sorrells, an external communications spokesman for Altria Corporate Services.