A collective action lawsuit alleges the owners of Ohio-based Cedar Point Amusement Park have discriminated against seasonal employees over the age of 40 by offering company-provided subsidized housing to only younger workers.
A proposed collective action lawsuit alleges the owners of Ohio-based Cedar Point Amusement Park have discriminated against seasonal employees over the age of 40 by offering company-provided subsidized housing to only younger workers.
According to the 13-page lawsuit, parents outfit Cedar Fair, L.P.—the owner of numerous amusement parks nationwide—and subsidiary Magnum Management Corporation “quietly instituted a new policy” in January 2021 that limited the company-provided housing benefit to seasonal employees between the ages of 18 and 29.
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The suit calls the allegedly discriminatory policy “outrageous and malicious,” and argues that it aims to “screen out” workers over 40 in order to build a younger seasonal workforce.
“Cedar Fair must be enjoined from continuing to systematically discriminate against [the plaintiff] and other older workers,” the filing stresses.
The case explains that because so many temporary, seasonal workers are hired from outside the Ohio area to work at Cedar Point during the park’s May to October operating season, the companies offer free or discounted housing in dormitories on-site or nearby. The rooms’ rates in 2021 were roughly $300 to $310 per month, and in 2022 ranged from $360 to $480 per month, the complaint says. Housing is purportedly free of charge in October for the park’s “Halloweekends,” the filing adds.
Per the lawsuit, there are not enough subsidized dorms to cover all of the park’s seasonal workers, and the defendants understand that many employees are unable to work unless they are given company housing. By setting an age limit for company-provided housing in 2021, the defendants understood that they could stop many, if not all, seasonal employees over 40 from working at Cedar Point, the suit charges.
As the case tells it, the defendants “could practically deny employment” to these workers “while simultaneously being able to argue that on paper, it had hired or offered to hire these applicants.”
Thanks to the new policy, the companies are able to “attract and retain a greater number of younger workers” because the subsidized dormitories are now open to them exclusively, the complaint contends.
The plaintiff, a 65-year-old California resident, worked as a seasonal employee at Cedar Point in 2019 and 2020, the filing says. The man was rehired in 2021 at age 63 and, after arriving in Ohio for the park’s summer season, soon learned he no longer qualified for company-provided housing, the lawsuit relays.
The man requested that the companies reconsider the new policy, informing them that being denied housing would preclude him from being able to work, the suit says. With the new policy firmly in place, however, the plaintiff could not afford to work at Cedar Point and was forced to quit in September of that year, the case shares.
The lawsuit looks to represent all current and former employees, including applicants, of Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio who, since January 1, 2021, were denied housing at any dormitory operated by the defendants because they were age 40 or older.
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