Longtime Mattel Worker Sues for Age Discrimination

Mattel's Fourth Quarter Profit Drops 46 Percent

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A former longtime Mattel Inc. worker is suing the toymaker, alleging his job duties in 2022 were gradually given to new employees who were younger and paid less and that he was then wrongfully fired that year because of his age.

Jose Arrellano's Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit alleges wrongful termination, age discrimination and failure to prevent discrimination. Arrellano seeks a total of more than $60,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. A representative for El Segundo-based Mattel did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the suit brought Monday.

Arrellano was hired in October 1997 and was more than 60 years old when terminated. He was a lead development program management associate and his duties included managing Mattel projects from through production while working with design, marketing and manufacturing teams. His annual salary was $130,000.

"For over 25 years, plaintiff successfully completed the job duties of all the job positions he occupied...," the suit states.

Mattel often promoted Arrellano and he was given about a dozen salary increases after good merit reviews and he was the winner of eight incentive awards.

However, in 2022, Mattel hired about four new employees for the exact same position that Arrellano had and they ranged in age between the mid-20s and early 30s and were paid substantially less than the plaintiff, according to the suit.

Soon thereafter, Arrellano's manager started telling the plaintiff to work "quicker" and that he was "too slow," and "inefficient," the suit states.

Mattel also chose one of the younger employees to travel internationally to conduct company business, a job previously assigned to Arrellano, the suit alleges.

Mattel terminated Arrellano last Dec. 2, telling him it was based on his work performance, the suit states.

Arrellano maintains he lost his job because of his age and that he has suffered lost income and emotional distress as a result.

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