News Column

Age Bias Costs Ohio Half a Million Dollars

Jan. 17, 2013

Alan Johnson

A Columbus man formerly employed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has been awarded $507,656 in back pay and damages as a result of an age-discrimination lawsuit.

The Ohio Court of Claims on Tuesday awarded Richard W. Warden the money. The court had ruled that the state discriminated against Warden, who worked as a professional engineer for almost 30 years before retiring in 2006.

After retiring, Warden, then 54, was hired as a contractor to oversee a program on reclaiming abandoned coal-mining sites. The Department of Natural Resources subsequently developed a full-time job for the duties. When he applied for the job -- which he was already doing -- the state agency rejected him, hiring someone 15 years younger even though Warden scored highest among all those interviewed, the court said.

Warden filed a civil discrimination complaint with the Court of Claims in January 2011. The court hears all civil cases in which the state or its agencies are sued.

The Court of Claims said rehiring Warden would have been the best solution, but since the younger person who was hired has already been on the job for three years, the damage payments were ordered instead.

Of the $507,656 awarded, $157,411 was back pay, according to court records.

The case can be viewed at

Source: (c)2013 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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