CIBC loses age discrimination lawsuit

British tribunal rules 42-year-old marketing head was fired because of age
||Last Updated: 11/09/2010

A banker in England has won an age discrimination suit against the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

Achim Beck, who headed a CIBC marketing team, was dismissed at the age of 42 from CIBC's London offices. An employment tribunal in the U,K. ruled he had been unfairly dismissed on the basis of age. Beck also claimed CIBC treated Canadian employees more favourably, but the tribunal threw out that clam.

Beck, who was dismissed on May 8, 2008, in the middle of the credit crisis that cost thousands of other financial-sector employees their jobs, could be in line for a huge payout, according to published reports. At the time of his dismissal, his annual earnings were $1.5 million with an annual minimum bonus of $1.28 million.

A CIBC spokesperson told the Toronto Star the bank is reviewing the decision, and declined to discuss specifics.

When the bank went into recruiting mode in mid-2008 to replace Beck, the job description it sent to a recruiting firm included the line "seeking younger, entrepreneurial profile." According to British newspaper reports, the tribunal did not accept the bank's claim that by "younger" it meant less experienced.

The amount of compensation Beck will received has yet to be determined.

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