As per the recent news from Napa Valley, a 58 years old ex-employee filed a case against her former employer, owner of the famous Cuvaison Estate Wines, for wrongful termination and age discrimination. She has been fired from her job recently.
This woman claimed that Carneros winery decided not to hire anyone above the age group of 40; however, she believes that she was fired due to her refusal to take per in some fraud. The case was brought to notice in front of Napa County Superior Court in the previous month.
This case is being handled by Gwilliam Ivary Chiosso Cavalli & Brewer law firm at Oakland. Randy Strauss, the representation of the ex-employee, Mary Pencek, in a recent interview stated that they have not yet received any formal answer regarding the matter from the defendants. He believes that the case is pretty clear; however, they are waiting for the response.
Strauss also said that their client has been fired from the Napa winery and some younger people are hired in her place.
On the other side, CEO of Cuvaison Estate Wines, Dan Zepponi, recently said that they are really surprised to hear about such false accusations. He also added that their management believes in following fair hiring practices; there are employees from all age groups and different backgrounds at all levels. Zepponi stated that the company values the diversity in employees and the claims made by their former employees are false.
Further, Zepponi added that they are not interested to say anything about the litigation; rather, they will pursue the case ahead in the court against wrongful termination attorneys.
As per the case, Zepponi in the year 2016 launched a program with an idea of hiring younger people for their winery. The campaign was named “the face of the winery”. The idea behind this program was to capture the attention of the younger generation. Even when he did the wine tasting photoshoot; only young employees were presented during that session.
This scenario made Pencek, who was working as the Sales and Marketing Director in the company, disappointed. However, she still maintained her performance to please Zepponi.
Later in May 2017, during an interview, Pencek made an offer for hiring a woman who according to her had all required qualifications but was above 50 years old. When the hiring procedure was over, Zepponi informed Pencek that he is interested to meet the new hires personally before releasing the offer letter.
During this personal meeting, Zapponi realized that the old woman was unfit for the work; irrespective of her huge experience and knowledge. Later, Pencek also came to know that the same woman was scared by the management to work at a lower offer.
In the month of July, the CEO hired two new employees for the company and both of them were below 30 years. Pencek said that Zepponi continued his discrimination for hiring young people and avoiding older people for further hiring as well. Later, Pencek was also fired due to some seatbelt related concerns in the winery.
After filing a case against the management at Napa winery, Pencek is currently asking for her attorney fees, damages and the cost of the suit in the jury trial. The case is being handled by an experienced wrongful termination attorney and they expect a clean win.