HR Strange But True

‘Silent Generation’ Full-Time Worker Not So Quiet After Being Terminated at Age 83

An 83-year-old cashier who was replaced in her full-time job—by a machine—is not being a quiet member of the Silent Generation as she battles her employer for unemployment benefits and tries to find an appropriate new job after working for 67 years.

For financial reasons, the octogenarian had still worked as a full-time cashier in a parking garage in Columbus Ohio, but was told her job was being automated, and she would be let go from her position. According to an article and video by Columbus Dispatch, when she went to see HR, she asked if she was being laid off or fired because she was going to the state unemployment insurance office (UI) and they would ask. She was told not to file with the UI because “it will cost our company money.”

She filed anyway, and the company told the UI that she was terminated because she had refused another full-time job that paid less, as well as a part-time job that was similar to her previous job.

Documents filed with the Review Board show she did refuse the part-time job; but she says she did so because she needed a full-time salary, not because she could not perform the job. She was denied UI benefits.

She was offered a job by another parking garage, but says the job would require her to stand for 4 hours at a time—sometimes outside—which would be difficult for a person of her age.

However, her attorney with the Legal Aid Society said he was not surprised benefits were denied, because the UI Review Board does not like it when claimants refuse offers of employment. Ironically, the part-time job paid about what she would get in UI benefits.

The displaced senior has still not received any unemployment benefits; however, she was offered one job at Home Depot—cutting lumber—and another job with a grocery chain—unloading trucks!

Not surprisingly, she declined both positions, but she remains hopeful of finding employment because she not only misses getting a paycheck but also the routine that comes with going to work every day. And she still continues her battle for UI benefits.