Four former Ford employees have taken the company to task by means of a lawsuit, with claims stating that they were let go due to their age, according to The Detroit News.
The automakers have been accused of letting the four members staff go before they reached the point where they would have been in receipt of better pensions and retirement plans.
The suit was filed in the US District Court in Detroit and states that Ford targetted staff who were close to reaching 30-year service milestones and persons who were over the age of 55. Left to hit those benchmarks, pensions and gratuities would have more than doubled.
Nicolaysen Dowhan was manager of governance risk and compliance in Dearborn and would have reached the 30-year mark in March 2020. Ford, though, dismissed her on May 31.
"I asked for a demotion," the 52-year-old revealed. "I was told no. And then I come to look on the internet to see that Ford's hiring and looking for six people? I could have taken five of those six jobs to do very easily. And nobody could say that I'm not qualified.
"I was told, 'Your performance was not considered.'"
So instead of collecting the $1,144,019 she would have been owed upon retirement, shes now entitled to $552,595.
"I'm convinced as I've ever been of a case that this was done deliberately," representing attorney Michael Pitt says.
"They terminated these people not because they were bad performers or because there was no place for them. They did it because they wanted to deprive them of the retirement benefits. That is illegal. Ford Motor Company crossed a line with this one."
The suit claims Ford violated Section 510 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by using an algorithm to "target older and higher pension-cost salaried employees".
A Ford spokesman has responded on behalf of the company, branding the accusations "baseless".
"The process was careful," he claims. "It was thorough. The considerations taken then were appropriate, and retirement status wasn't among them."