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The Maine Human Rights Commission has ruled unanimously that Shaw’s Supermarkets' company-wide layoffs in November 2012 adversely affected older workers, according to published reports.
Three women, all 55 or older and employed by the West Bridgewater, Mass.-based supermarket operator for at least 30 years, filed a complaint against Shaw's after being laid off. According to an attorney for the women, they will attempt to reach a financial settlement with the grocer, or, if that fails, file a lawsuit for back pay and as much as $500,000.
The Augusta-based commission found that by terminating only full-time employees and exempting part-timers, Shaw's negatively affected older workers, because most of them were full-time, but also ruled unanimously that the grocer didn't go out of its way to discriminate against them.
According to Maine law, the commission is able to make the distinction between treating someone in a discriminatory way and adopting policies that lead to discrimination.
When contacted by PG, a Shaw's spokesman had no comment on the ruling or its policies.