12 August 2013
Car salesperson wins age discrimination compensation
A car salesperson has won a substantial compensation lump sum after it emerged he was sacked because of age discrimination.
Gary Hawkins, 52 at the time of the incident, was an expert in selling used cars for CC Automotive Group, which has the public trade name of Carcraft.
Although he had years of experience in the field and had been at the firm for eight months, he was being increasingly marginalised by a new regional manager that came in from another branch and told the staff on the first day that if he had to sack every member of staff in order to improve the number of sales at the Wednesbury branch, he would not hesitate to do so.
A few days later, the same executive came over to Mr Hawkins and told him that he was too old for the job and would be sacked.
Mr Hawkings claims he was sacked at 18:00 on a Saturday, just after two other members of staff had been told they were no longer needed and the culture at Carcraft was so unpleasant that another colleague quit because of how workers were being treated.
"It was a two minute conversation. He pulled me to one side and said: 'I think you are too old for my team, you are sacked.' He liked 20-year-olds he could bully, he didn't like anybody with an opinion," Mr Hawkins added.
After losing his job, the ex-salesperson launched an age discrimination suit against CC Automotive Group in attempts to get money for lost earnings and to change the culture at the used car dealership chain.
Tribunal judge Peter Rose QC ruled in favour of Mr Hawkins and said he was wrongfully sacked because of his age.
He is believed to have received a substantial compensation lump sum, although the exact figure has not been disclosed.
CC Automotive Group declined to comment on the ruling.
By Chris Stevenson