A former parts and service manager has sued a suburban Atlanta dealership for age discrimination, claiming he was demoted at age 61 to a significantly lower-paying position after telling a supervisor he planned to continue working until he was at least 67.
Jeffrey Copeland's federal lawsuit against Don Jackson Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram North in Cumming, Ga., seeks back pay and damages under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
According to the suit, filed Nov. 28, the dealership hired Copeland in late summer 2021 and demoted him to a used-car manager position on April 1, a few months after his supervisor asked about his retirement plans. "As a result of the demotion, both his compensation," which dropped by about half, "and job authority substantially decreased," the suit said.
Copeland no longer works at the dealership, according to his lawyer, Julie Burke, of Atlanta.
During Copeland's time as parts and service manager, the suit said, the department's revenue grew by 20 percent, and it hired "numerous highly qualified" employees. Customer satisfaction surveys "evidenced a consistent exceptional experience," the lawsuit also said.
His replacement was "substantially younger," according to the suit.
The dealership declined to comment.