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Penguin faces age-discrimination suit

Ex-exec says publisher demoted, forced out older employees

The former director of corporate communications for Penguin Group (USA) who worked with a variety of notable authors—including Tom Clancy, Catherine Coulter, Junot Diaz, Ken Follett and Betty White—is suing the publisher for age discrimination.

Marilyn Ducksworth, who is 56 years old and worked for Penguin for 27 years, filed suit against her former employer yesterday. She resigned from her job last week because Penguin had purportedly been demoting and forcing out older employees in favor of younger people.

In her complaint, Ducksworth says the publisher ostracized her for protesting the discriminatory practices, diminished her executive responsibilities, dismantled her staff and interfered with her internal and external professional relationships. She claims one Penguin executive told her the publisher wanted employees who were “faster, stronger and more nimble because the older, slower version doesn’t work anymore.”

Penguin said in a statement that “it was Marilyn Duckworth’s decision to resign” and that the publisher “does not condone, nor was there, any age discrimination or retaliation involved in her decision to leave.”

Ducksworth seeks back pay, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and damages.

Read the Associated Press and Publishers Weekly for more about the suit.

Read more InsideCounsel stories about age discrimination:

State Department violated ADEA

Discrimination case against Fried Frank thrown out

NY bar urges law firms to stop age discrimination

Labor: 5 factors to consider when mounting an ADEA defense

Ashley Post

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