Law Firms

IT manager's age-bias suit says he was falsely accused and fired by BigLaw firm

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A 62-year-old IT manager at Shearman & Sterling alleges in an age-bias lawsuit that he was wrongly accused of taking vendor kickbacks and fired without further explanation.

The plaintiff, Mark Kanyuk, says in his May 7 lawsuit that he was given a “meager two weeks of severance after 25 years of excellent work.” The accusation of unethical conduct “was clearly a pretext for their plan to terminate their older employee in the face of the COVID-19 business downturn,” the suit says., Law360 and Bloomberg Law have coverage.

The suit says Shearman & Sterling either made up the ethics charges or knew they were likely false.

Kanyuk was promoted to manager of global facilities and audiovisual infrastructure in June 2019. He was the second oldest employee in his department.

Kanyuk’s employee ID number indicated his length of service, leading co-workers to joke about his age, the suit says. His direct supervisor frequently referred to him as “old man,” according to the suit.

The suit alleges violations of state and local human rights law.

Shearman & Sterling denied the allegations in statements given to, Law360 and Bloomberg Law.

“We have not made any layoffs at the firm—whether in relation to COVID-19 or anything else,” the firm said. “Mr. Kanyuk was terminated for cause, on the basis of substantial evidence of inappropriate conduct in the performance of his job. The plaintiff’s allegations are completely without merit and the firm will contest them vigorously.”

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