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Men threaten discrimination suit against N.M. Lottery

New Mexico LotteryNew Mexico Lottery: Men threaten discrimination suit against N.M. Lottery

Sales representatives say they were forced out because of age

Two sales representatives who resigned Friday from the New Mexico Lottery said they were forced out by being given more work so they could be replaced by younger employees with lower pay. The two men, Ken Dahlstrom, 61, and Jack Minter, 67, said they are considering an age-discrimination lawsuit against the lottery.

Both men have worked at the lottery since its inception in 1996. Dahlstrom and Minter said they were not fired or asked to resign, but that lottery officials significantly increased their sales territories and workloads to pressure them to step down.

Minter, who lives in San Miguel County, said five sales representatives have resigned or been fired this year, leaving more work for the remaining employees. He said his sales territory grew from 80 retailers to 125 in recent months, and that sales representatives were asked to hang 40-pound signs at lottery retailers.

All the sales representatives refused to hang the signs because it wasn't part of their job responsibilities, Minter said. "I've never had a job where I was treated as bad as I was on this one," he said.

Tom Romero, the lottery's chief executive officer, said Dahlstrom and Minter were not victims of age discrimination. He said the lottery has eliminated 11 positions as part of cost-cutting measures needed because a new law allots a bigger portion of lottery revenues to a college scholarship fund.

That means all employees, regardless of age, have had to take on more work to pick up the slack, Romero said. "There was no effort to force them out; it's part of restructuring," he said.

Gov. Bill Richardson last month signed into law a measure that will earmark at least 27 percent of lottery revenues to a college scholarship fund starting in July and at least 30 percent starting in January 2009, compared with roughly 24 percent now.

Dahlstrom, who lives in Las Cruces, said the lottery's sales director showed him a map of his new sales territory in February and told him: "Thank you for being candid about your retirement plan." However, Dahlstrom said he did not have any retirement plans at that time.

Romero said he referred a complaint by Dahlstrom about the sales director's remark to the lottery's human-resources department. He said the matter had been resolved, but he would not elaborate, saying it was a personnel matter.

Dahlstrom said his sales territory expanded from 94 retailers to 162 this year. "That was not the job that I was hired to do," he said.

The New Mexican

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18 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by psykomo.
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OldSchoolPa's avatar - Lottery-057.jpg
Gurnee, Illinois
United States
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February 12, 2007
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Posted: April 14, 2007, 6:46 pm - IP Logged

Dahlstrom said his sales territory expanded from 94 retailers to 162 this year. "That was not the job that I was hired to do," he said.

Sue, sue, sue, that's all everyone wants to do.  It is clear this guy thinks he is a union worker instead of a sales worker; I've run into a lot of "union" workers in my 10+ year stint in the US Navy...guys telling me, "That is not my job..."  You never here a startup businessman/entrepreneur say that a certain thing is not their job.  If he can't fulfil the work requirements, then he needs to move on or retire.  So he never thought that his territory would ever expand during the time he worked with the lottery?!  It happens all the time in the private sector, so like I said, he needs to move on or retire as I see no grounds for a lawsuit.

Get MONEY!!! Winning a JACKPOT lottery is all the HOPE and CHANGE I desire!!!  NOW give me MONEY!US Flag

The guy who won the presidency in 2008 really won the lottery...he is now millions richer, travels in first class style, and even has a staff that would be the envy of the richest Powerball winner (she has a staff of 2). Every night he goes to sleep, he probably plays the close of Dave Chappelle's Show: I'm rich beyatch!

    Littleoldlady's avatar - basket
    Clarksville
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    Posted: April 14, 2007, 8:07 pm - IP Logged

    You must not be 61. Age discrimination is very real.  It is normally disguished as job change requirements.

    If you know your number is going to hit, have patience and then KILL IT!

    You never know when you will get another hit.

      justxploring's avatar - villiarna
      Wandering Aimlessly
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      Posted: April 14, 2007, 8:44 pm - IP Logged

      You must not be 61. Age discrimination is very real.  It is normally disguished as job change requirements.

      Thank you!

        OldSchoolPa's avatar - Lottery-057.jpg
        Gurnee, Illinois
        United States
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        February 12, 2007
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        Posted: April 15, 2007, 2:33 pm - IP Logged

        You must not be 61. Age discrimination is very real.  It is normally disguished as job change requirements.

        No I am not 61 or even close to it.  But I do have a thorough understanding of work/job requirements and productivity.  Now the airlines placed a mandatory retirement age in effect back in the days when American's life expectancy as well as vibrancy in old age was not as long or as vital as it is now what with the advancements in medicine as well as improved healthy lifestyles.  I believe that if someone has the capabilities to perform a given task, they should be allowed to continue to do so regardless of age.  But when a person is unable or unwilling to do so, then that is a different story.  In that case, that person needs to either be reassigned to any assignment that person has the skills to perform or terminated.  Business is business.  We live in a capitalistic society, not a socialist one.  That is what makes America so great.  To start making allowances for deficient work performance due to age is wrong...it is wrong for an old age worker to bring their age into the equation as to the reason they cannot perform a given task that has been required all along or due to process changes perhaps might be a new requirement for that given job. 

        Personally, my grandfather used to be a carpenter and actually worked on construction projects well into his 60s.  When he deemed that he could no longer safely climb ladders, he stopped working in that capacity and retired to tend to his vegetable and flower gardens.  If a person can't do the job, then they have to be man or woman enough to own up to that fact and move on.  But no, we now live in an American society where one sees just as many lawyer ads as you do other product/service ads.  Many Americans' today do not want to accept personal responsibility for their actions.  That very may well mark the downfall for our country.  I know I rambled a bit but this is something that really peeves me.

        Get MONEY!!! Winning a JACKPOT lottery is all the HOPE and CHANGE I desire!!!  NOW give me MONEY!US Flag

        The guy who won the presidency in 2008 really won the lottery...he is now millions richer, travels in first class style, and even has a staff that would be the envy of the richest Powerball winner (she has a staff of 2). Every night he goes to sleep, he probably plays the close of Dave Chappelle's Show: I'm rich beyatch!

          justxploring's avatar - villiarna
          Wandering Aimlessly
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          Posted: April 15, 2007, 9:08 pm - IP Logged

          Maybe when you are in your 60s you will look back and reflect on this post, OldSchool.  This has nothing to do with accepting personal responsibility. 

          "he stopped working in that capacity and retired to tend to his vegetable and flower gardens."

          Good for him!  But not everyone can retire at 60 or 65.  Also, you might not realize it, but the above statement is very insulting.  Sounds like .. "Let's take all the old people and put them in flower gardens to keep them happy."  There are people saving lives at 75 and scientists still discovering cures for life threatening diseases.  Reagan ran our country in his 80s.  If I were from another planet and read your comment, I would get the general idea that people who live beyond a certain age in this country are no longer useful. Older workers are a valuable asset to our society and bring with them a wealth of experience and wisdom you can't get from your "better, faster, stronger" world.  I'd hate to hear what you think about working with the handicapped.

            jarasan's avatar - new patrick.gif
            Harbinger
            D.C./MD.
            United States
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            Posted: April 15, 2007, 11:26 pm - IP Logged

            Increasing someones sales territory to an unmanageble size or adding more responsibilties to a persons work load is a typical management tactic used to cause job frustration and  dissatisfaction.  It also allows management to set artificial and unattainable goals to screw the employee on the next job review.  If what the lottery did is true, I believe they may have a case.  Whether it is age, sex or race it is still a form of discrimination no matter what, especially in a democrat controlled state govt. where this theoretically is non-existent (yeah right).  One cannot jump to conclusions without seeing both sides of the situation. It appears the lottery is trying to trim costs, this ain't the way to do it. 

            Bill Richardson as Gov. of New Mexico and  presidential candidate should step in and take care of this situation ASAP.

              OldSchoolPa's avatar - Lottery-057.jpg
              Gurnee, Illinois
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              Posted: April 16, 2007, 9:13 am - IP Logged

              justxploring:

               I acknowledge there are people in their "old age" who are still contributing to society and I have no problem with them continuing to work/lead normal lives just as long as they are still being productive and not endangering the lives of other people.  As I stated, in the case of airline pilots, they should be allowed to continue to pilot jets as long as they pass all performance tests and health checks.  The key difference between my personal story and the examples you cited is that carpentry as well as sales requires "physically demanding" work whereas scientific and governing is all about your mental state and reasoning abilities.  That explains why one sees so many "elderly" heads of state, senators, governors, presidents, etc and not so many elderly construction workers.  It's mental vs physical.  And if an elderly person has been planning appropriately and saving and investing during their long career, then they should have other options available to enjoy life instead of merely working just to be able to still live.  But I would venture to guess that the sales reps in this case did not properly plan and invest so they could retire, so they see a lawsuit as the next best avenue to funding their retirement...I am certain they would not seek to start buying lottery tickets in hopes of winning in order to fund their retirement!

              Get MONEY!!! Winning a JACKPOT lottery is all the HOPE and CHANGE I desire!!!  NOW give me MONEY!US Flag

              The guy who won the presidency in 2008 really won the lottery...he is now millions richer, travels in first class style, and even has a staff that would be the envy of the richest Powerball winner (she has a staff of 2). Every night he goes to sleep, he probably plays the close of Dave Chappelle's Show: I'm rich beyatch!

                RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                mid-Ohio
                United States
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                March 24, 2001
                19831 Posts
                Online
                Posted: April 16, 2007, 10:54 am - IP Logged

                "I am certain they would not seek to start buying lottery tickets in hopes of winning in order to fund their retirement!"

                Why not?  Lots of old people are winning lotteries too.

                 * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
                   
                             Evil Looking       

                  psykomo's avatar - animal shark.jpg

                  United States
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                  Posted: April 16, 2007, 12:01 pm - IP Logged

                  Increasing someones sales territory to an unmanageble size or adding more responsibilties to a persons work load is a typical management tactic used to cause job frustration and  dissatisfaction.  It also allows management to set artificial and unattainable goals to screw the employee on the next job review.  If what the lottery did is true, I believe they may have a case.  Whether it is age, sex or race it is still a form of discrimination no matter what, especially in a democrat controlled state govt. where this theoretically is non-existent (yeah right).  One cannot jump to conclusions without seeing both sides of the situation. It appears the lottery is trying to trim costs, this ain't the way to do it. 

                  Bill Richardson as Gov. of New Mexico and  presidential candidate should step in and take care of this situation ASAP.

                  Increasing the sales territory by 70% and decreasing sales............ positions by 11 ("old people").............  must have required....... the brains of a HAVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL............................"JANITOR"

                  ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

                  What are your qualifications,...................Mr. Tom Romero, CEO &

                  HOW much does your SALARY & BENEFIT$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

                  cost the CHILDREN's college FUND each year????????????????????

                  I would be "surprised" if the S&M DIRECTOR does not require the

                  new "SALES PERSON's" team to bend over backwards if they wish

                  to keep their.............................................................................JOB!

                  Let's send a letter of "PRAISE" to the Gov. & CEO!

                  YES,....Let's "SAVE" the children and teach them........."WELL"$$$$$

                  THANK$$$$$$$$$$ to the great state of AZ & management TOO!!!

                    Avatar
                    Northern California
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                    Posted: April 16, 2007, 1:02 pm - IP Logged

                    I know both Ken and Jack. Both great guys, but with a tendency to push back on any attempts to raise the performance bar.

                    Both (but especially Jack) have significant levels of "windshield time" in working their routes, which include large geographical areas with low population and retailer density. The article doesn't say how many sales employees were cut - just that the Lottery cut 11 positions.  

                    162 retailers is a lot - I don't know a single sales rep in any of the Western US states that has that many. 125 for Jack might or might not be "doable" - but in any event, it is unlikely that either of these guys will be able to spend the kind of time working with each retailer to help drive their ticket sales.

                     To me, this whole thing boils down to one issue: Were Ken and Jack the only sales reps who had their workload raised, or did everyone, regardless of age? If everyone did, and their was some kind of objective process used, I don't see how this can be age discrimination.  The Lottery certainly can't (and shouldn't) say "OK - we have to make do with fewer staff - but Ken and Jack, we're going to leave your territories alone because you are over 60". 

                      Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                      Chief Bottle Washer
                      New Jersey
                      United States
                      Member #1
                      May 31, 2000
                      23277 Posts
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                      Posted: April 16, 2007, 2:40 pm - IP Logged

                      I know both Ken and Jack. Both great guys, but with a tendency to push back on any attempts to raise the performance bar.

                      Both (but especially Jack) have significant levels of "windshield time" in working their routes, which include large geographical areas with low population and retailer density. The article doesn't say how many sales employees were cut - just that the Lottery cut 11 positions.  

                      162 retailers is a lot - I don't know a single sales rep in any of the Western US states that has that many. 125 for Jack might or might not be "doable" - but in any event, it is unlikely that either of these guys will be able to spend the kind of time working with each retailer to help drive their ticket sales.

                       To me, this whole thing boils down to one issue: Were Ken and Jack the only sales reps who had their workload raised, or did everyone, regardless of age? If everyone did, and their was some kind of objective process used, I don't see how this can be age discrimination.  The Lottery certainly can't (and shouldn't) say "OK - we have to make do with fewer staff - but Ken and Jack, we're going to leave your territories alone because you are over 60". 

                      Excellent points, great post.  I would like to know myself.

                       

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                        Posted: April 16, 2007, 11:54 pm - IP Logged

                        That's a great topic. What's the discrimination all about?

                          justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                          Wandering Aimlessly
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                          Posted: April 17, 2007, 5:17 am - IP Logged

                          Excellent points, great post.  I would like to know myself.

                          Yes, I agree too, it might not be age discrimination, and those are good points that any lawyer will surely examine.  My first comments were only answering remarks made on the subject.  I've been treated unfairly at jobs, but I never sued anyone.  When I was in my 20s I once asked a manager "Will there be anything else, Sir?" and he said "Yeah, how about a blow job?" He thought it was funny but I didn't.  That doesn't mean that I was the only person he annoyed, but most people just put up with problems to keep a good job or end up leaving. It's not very easy to prove that you've been harassed or mistreated without proper documentation and coworkers who are willing to support you, and they usually won't.  Whether it's a medical malpractice suit or job discrimination, we only hear about the "newsworthy" lawsuits, and we often don't get the whole story.

                          I also realize we live in a litigious society, but sometimes employers need a wake-up call.   

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                            Coastal Georgia
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                            Posted: April 17, 2007, 8:33 am - IP Logged

                            That's a great topic. What's the discrimination all about?

                            ThudYou kill me...