Pennsylvania Record

Friday, August 23, 2019

Lawsuit: Hershey forced out older white employees for young minority hires


By Noddy A. Fernandez | Feb 15, 2019

SCRANTON — An employee is suing The Hershey Co., citing alleged fraudulent inducement and wrongful termination.

Kurt L. Ehresman filed a complaint on Feb. 6 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania against The Hershey Co. for alleged violation of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act and Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

According to the complaint, between January 2016 and Dec. 29, 2017, Ehresman was employed as the global head of intellectual property, performing every role of the only intellectual property attorney within defendant company. 

Plaintiff claims he was terminated because he was an older, Caucasian male and was replaced with a young African-American female. In addition, plaintiff was induced to enter into a severance agreement in full reliance on defendants' statements and representations that his position was being eliminated and that he would not have signed if he had known the statements were false and misleading, the suit says.

The plaintiff holds The Hershey Co. responsible because the defendant allegedly intentionally and systematically terminated employees who were older and Caucasian, consistent with its stated diversity goals, and made misrepresentations in order for the employee to enter into a contract and give up his position.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment for compensatory, consequential and/or incidental damages, together with interest, attorney's fees, costs and any other relief the court may deem just and proper. He is represented by Michael Kelley and Wendell Courtney of Smigel, Anderson & Sacks LLP in Harrisburg.

The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania Case No. is 1:19-cv-00212-SHR.

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Smigel, Anderson & Sacks LLP U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania

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