Lawsuit claims Ford targeted older employees during recent job cuts

Automaker cuts employees as part of redesign

DEARBORN, Mich. – Someone thinks the recent job cuts at Ford were about more than just streamlining the automaker.

A new lawsuit alleges older employees were targeted for the chopping block in order to save the company money on retirement benefits.

RELATED: Ford announces more job cuts as company 'redesign' continues

“Every one of our clients have lost a lot. Every one of our clients feel betrayed by Ford. The lead plaintiff, Monica Dowhan, her lump sum payment on her pension today is $552,000. If she was allowed to work to March 31,2020, her pension would be $1.2 million," said Attorney Michael Pitt.

It’s a bold claim from Pitt, but he said it’s true. That’s why he representing four former Ford Motors high leadership employees in the multipage lawsuit.

“They were in their 50s and they had between 27 years of service, and I think one had 29.2 years of service. Under the Ford pension plan, there are two milestones that an employee can reach. One is age 55 and the other is 30. The 30 out is a pretty standard pension plan in the auto industry here,” Pitt said.

The lawsuit claims Ford denied them of retirement benefits when they were let go by the company on May 31.

Pitt said it’s part of the Ford Smart Redesign plan. Pitt said this is not the first time former employees accused Ford of the same thing and it probably won’t be the last.

A Ford representative released this statement:

"The allegations are baseless and we will vigorously oppose them. Our process was careful and thorough. It was based on legitimate considerations and unrelated to retirement status."

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