USA: Ex-vice president sues WeWork for alleged age discrimination

Author: Ellen Huet, Bloomberg (USA), Published on: 17 June 2019

A former vice president at WeWork Cos. sued the co-working giant this week, alleging the company hired a younger man to take over his responsibilities and terminated him when he complained.

Richard Markel, 62, claimed the New York-based company discriminated against him based on his age after hiring him last year to be the vice president of construction for the West Coast. The lawsuit, filed Monday in San Francisco Superior Court, also alleged the company misrepresented the job position, characterizing it as long-term, and retaliated against him for reporting discrimination to human resources.

WeWork declined to comment. The company has faced similar litigation in the past: In October, former employee Ruby Anaya, sued the company over sexual harassment, retaliation and gender discrimination after she said she was harassed by two colleagues at company events. WeWork, a startup valued at $47 billion, rents out office space on a short-term basis and has more than 425 locations in dozens of countries. It often takes on long-term leases in buildings and redesigns the interiors for flexible use.

Markel started working for WeWork last year because it acquired part of a construction company he worked for, UA Builders Group, according to the suit. He was asked to take on his new role at WeWork and move from New York to San Francisco, where he started work in April last year and was paid a $300,000 annual salary with stock options vesting over five years.


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Related companies: WeWork