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West Virginia men contend they were fired because of their ages

Two men are suing Union Carbide Corp., alleging they were fired from their jobs because of their ages.

The men also have named a company employee in the lawsuit, contending she was involved in the decision to terminate their employment.

The men, both residents of Kanawha County, West Virginia, worked at the company's plant in Institute. One was 61, and the other 62, when they were let go from the company.

They contend their firings violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act. Their lawsuits stated that because of the violation of law, they are entitled to receive back pay, along with an award for embarrassment, emotional distress and mental anguish.

"As a direct result of the willful and intentional acts of the defendant Union Carbide Corporation, all of which violate the Public Policy of the State of West Virginia, the plaintiff[s]...[are] entitled to an award of punitive damages," both lawsuits state.

The woman was named as a defendant because she took part in the termination by "carrying out the discriminatory acts of defendant Union Carbide Corporation," according to the filings.

Terminating an employee for age-related reasons also is prohibited under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which protects employees age 40 or older from being discriminated against when it comes to being hired, fired or promoted.

These men clearly believe that being over 60 drove their dismissal, and they were well within their rights to contact an attorney and take action against the company. Just because they are over 60 does not mean they still cannot be valuable employees both on the job or in serving as mentors to younger co-workers.

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