Dr. William Bedingham, a successful, dedicated 3M employee for over 35 years, has sued 3M in Ramsey County alleging he was selected for termination based on his age. Dr. Bedingham, who was 63 years old at the time of his termination, is represented by Lead Counsel Larry Schaefer at Schaefer Halleen, LLC, a Minneapolis-based Firm recognized nationally for its depth of experience in this field.
According to Mr. Schaefer, 3M knowingly and intentionally required Dr. Bedingham to exclusively work in a business area it knew would be eliminated to ensure that Dr. Bedingham would be impacted by a reduction-in-force (“RIF”) – at great cost savings to 3M through reduced pension payments and salary. 3M engaged in this egregious action despite Dr. Bedingham’s uniformly positive performance reviews and prolific accomplishments over the course of his career. His accomplishments include being principally responsible for over 100 patents in a variety of business areas, as well as being awarded the prestigious “Minnesota Inventor of the Year” and “Corporate Circle of Excellence” awards.
While 3M assured that younger, less qualified employees were insulated from the RIF by assigning them fabricated “critical maintenance” roles the day prior to the RIF was implemented, Dr. Bedingham was not afforded such protections. Despite such blatant discrimination, 3M continued to benefit from Dr. Bedingham’s expertise, even after he was terminated, by requesting his signature on multiple patentable inventions that Dr. Bedingham had developed in recent years.
“We intend to hold 3M fully accountable for its treatment of Dr. Bedingham, and any other older workers who have been treated similarly by 3M,” asserts Schaefer. “Every worker deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, especially when they near retirement age. We will not allow 3M to force workers into retirement in violation of Minnesota law,” he added.