Advocates Sue Manufacturer Mattel, Inc. for Ageist Discrimination and Wrongful Termination


Date: May 24, 2022

Re: Advocates Sue Manufacturer Mattel, Inc. for Ageist Discrimination and Wrongful Termination

MEDIA CONTACT: Shaleen Shanbhag, Esq. - (626) 585-9600;


The complaint may be viewed here:


Lawyers from the civil rights firm Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai LLP represent Plaintiff Bernard Grisez in a lawsuit against Mattel, Inc. filed May 24, 2022 in Los Angeles Superior Court. Mr. Grisez, sixty-nine years old, is suing the El Segundo-based manufacturer for ageist harassment and discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination.

Mr. Grisez worked as a “permatemp” set and scenery builder at Mattel for nearly two decades until Mattel wrongfully terminated him in late 2021. Mr. Grisez consistently performed outstanding work and never received any form of discipline. Over his seventeen years at Mattel, Mr. Grisez trained and managed other set builders who were younger and less experienced than him. Despite this, Mattel refused to promote Mr. Grisez to a permanent employee, depriving him of the attendant benefits and protections, even as it continued to promote younger and lesser experienced workers over Mr. Grisez.

Mr. Grisez’s supervisors and co-workers subjected him to relentless ageist insults and taunts, such as saying he needed a “walker,” constantly calling him “old man,” and even describing him as a “faggot grandpa looking motherfucker.” His supervisors repeatedly asked when Mr. Grisez was going to retire because of his age and joked about firing him.

Supervisors routinely mocked Mr. Grisez, asking if he had taken his “Centrum Silver” vitamins – vitamins made specifically for individuals over the age of 50 – and asking if the authorities were looking for him whenever they received a missing persons alert for an elderly person.

“This is the textbook definition of a hostile work environment,” said Mr. Grisez’s attorney Shaleen Shanbhag. “Mattel must be held accountable for its unlawful treatment of Mr. Grisez.”

Although Mattel substantiated Mr. Grisez’s reports of age-based harassment and misconduct, it failed to remedy the situation. In fact, after Mr. Grisez reported Mattel’s ageist harassment and discrimination, Mattel retaliated against him by terminating him.

“We’re not toying around here. Mattel destroyed Mr. Grisez’s career because he was not an ageless Ken doll,” said attorney Dan Stormer.

Mr. Grisez has suffered emotionally, physically, and mentally due to Mattel’s unlawful behavior.

Mr. Grisez said, “I put up with the insults about my age for so many years because I held on to the dream that I would become a permanent Mattel employee. When that didn't happen, it totally crushed me.”

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