Disney Sued for Age Discrimination by Former Story Department Head

Disneyland Ride Mickey - H 2013
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Disneyland Ride Mickey - H 2013

Disney has been sued by a veteran employee who charges he was wrongfully terminated because of his age and then replaced by a younger person.

Kevin Brady, who worked in the story department of Walt Disney Pictures for 22 years until he was laid off in 2013, charges in his suit filed in L.A. Superior Court on Wednesday that the Disney company has "a history and pattern of terminating long term employees and replacing them with younger employees who have less experience at the company."

At the time, he was making $135,000 a year.

Brady says he was first hired in 1987 as a temporary employee and then became fulltime in 1988. He was promoted several times and in 2005 became head of the story department. He says he got consistently excellent performance reviews.

After he was fired in April 2013, Brady wrote a letter to Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, laying out his accomplishments and what he had done for Disney. He got back a letter from Horn saying he was "impressed" by Brady's "progression and dedication to the company" but not offering a meeting or to reinstate him.

Brady was told by Michael Sean Bailey, president of motion pictures, that his job was eliminated because the company was making fewer movies. Brady charges that this claim was "false."

He says he was replaced by Bailey's assistant, in her 20s or early 30s, who was given a raise and made head of the story department. Brady tried to apply for the job when it was posted electronically but was told by human resources the job was already filled.

Seven months after he left Disney, another employee in the story department, a 69-year-old analyst was also dismissed.

Brady filed a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing for age discrimination. The agency on June 2, 2014, issued him a letter that his case was closed and he had the right to file a lawsuit.

His suit seeks punitive damages in addition to a judgment because he claims to have suffered emotional pain, distress and discomfort, and that Disney acted maliciously and fraudulently toward him.

There was no immediate response to a request for comment from a Disney spokesperson.