A former Boston branch manager for. who sued HERC for age discrimination was awarded $827,000 by a federal court judge last week. According to the Boston Globe, John Cariglia, 62, had restored the money-losing branch to profitability when top executives fired him for poor performance involving equipment maintenance.
The court ruled that Carigliaâ€™s immediate supervisor, James Heard, made discriminatory remarks about Carigliaâ€™s age and did not provide an accurate picture of his performance to his own superiors, who then fired him based on incomplete information. Judge Reginald Lindsay ruled that Heard â€śwas motivated by invidious discriminatory intentâ€ť and that the firm was â€śliableâ€ť as to the plaintiffâ€™s claim of age discrimination.â€ť
Cariglia was HERCâ€™s oldest branch manager, according to his lawsuit. After three years of profits, he said, the company replaced him with a man in his 30s. Hertzâ€™ executives said they fired Cariglia because he failed to have crane equipment painted. The court said Heard did not tell executives the cranes werenâ€™t painted because they were rented to customers and that Heard and Cariglia agreed the painting could wait.
According to attorneys who reviewed the decision, it effectively held Hertz liable for what top executives did not know, strengthening the tenet that employers are responsible for what takes place in the workplace. The attorneys noted that the decision focused more on the process than whether Hertz executives discriminated.
The case has been appealed once. Last weekâ€™s decision came after a federal Appeals Court told Lindsay to review his prior decision, which was favorable to Hertz.
Hertz intends to appeal the decision, officials told RER, adding: â€śHertz believes the District Court ruling ignores several important issues that provide the basis for appeal, and, we believe, vindication of our position.â€ť