Call Our Free Helpline NOW 949-379-6250

Employment Law News


Posted by Samuel A. Wong | Mar 21, 2014 | 0 Comments


The Los Angeles Superior Court has ruled in favor of Bobby Nickel, now 66 years old, and a former employee of Staples Inc. In a lawsuit against the office supply mogul, Nickel alleged age discrimination as the motivation for his wrongful termination.

Nickel began working for Corporate Express in 2002 as a facilities manager. In 2008, Corporate Express was bought out by Staples Inc., and everything changed for Nickel. Up until the buyout, Nickel had nothing but glowing, positive reviews. But now, he was getting written up for minor infractions and subjected to various comments about his age.

Plaintiff claimed that Staples managers were intent on phasing out older employees who were high wage earners. First, Nickel's supervisor attempted to coerce Nickel to resign. When he refused, his co-workers and other staff began harassing him and taunting his age. He was often referred to as an “old goat” or “old coot.” On one occasion, a reception alerted Nickel that a manager had approached her and asked her to provide a false statement condemning Nickel. She refused.

Nickel was eventually terminated for “stealing a 68 cent bell pepper” from the Staples cafeteria. Staples claimed that “stealing” the bell pepper violated their zero-tolerance theft policy.

Last month, the jury deliberated for 2 days, ending in a more than $26 million judgment in favor of Nickel. $22.8 million was awarded in the form of punitive damages with an additional $3.2 million for compensatory damages. Staples plans to appeal.

Source: LA Daily News

About the Author

Samuel A. Wong

Samuel A. Wong is a renowned Orange County trial lawyer and a Co-Founder of Aegis Law Firm. Mr. Wong has spent his entire career litigating employment related matters, including wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, wage, disability and medical leave cases. Mr. Wong is also an expert ...


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

The Quickest and Easiest Way to Hold Your Employer Accountable

At the Aegis Law Firm, we know that you may be going through a difficult time, and we are here to help you recover from the wrongs that you suffered. An attorney at our Orange County or Los Angeles law firm can speak with you for a free initial consultation to help you with your employment issues. We also take most cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not pay any fees unless you win or recover compensation.