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HOFFMAN & LAZEAR: BALLY WILL STAND TRIAL FOR AGE DISCRIMINATION

 NEW YORK, May 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Hoffman & Lazear today released the following:
 A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York has rendered a unanimous decision against Bally Inc., a division of OERLIKON-BURHLE HOLDING LTD., of Zurich, Switzerland. Bally must stand trial under the Age Discrimination Employment Act in the suit, filed by plaintiff Harold Frankel after his termination by Bally in October of 1988. The appellate court ruling extended the protection of the Age Discrimination Act to older workers, even if the employer did not "directly" employ the alleged victim. In Frankel's case, Bally claimed it could not be sued because Frankel worked as a one-man corporation and an independent contractor. The court rejected those arguments.
 The trial may very well affect the hiring practices of many companies in the shoe industry whose lines are handled by "independent contractors," who may or may not be incorporated. Frankel's contract was changed from "employee" to "independent contractor" a number of years ago. Frankel contends that under the laws of the states of New York and California, he would qualify as an employee, and not as an independent contractor.
 This ruling could affect the status of all Bally representatives, past and present, as well as other firms in this and other industries. The federal and state governments' interest in the case involves the payment of various employee taxes, including Social Security, unemployment and disability insurance. A trial date is anticipated to be set for later this year.
 Frankel joined Bally as the men's division sales representative at the beginning of 1976. After developing his territory, he became a top shipper in the company. He covered the territory for almost 13 years and was then dismissed by Bally, with 30 days notice, on the pretext of what Frankel alleges was a "fabricated complaint." The Age Discrimination Employment Act creates a protected class of employees over 40. Frankel was replaced by a person who was in this twenties.
 -0- 5/3/93
 /CONTACT: H. Tim Hoffman of Hoffman & Lazear, 510-763-5700, or 510-836-1740/


CO: Bally Inc. ST: California IN: TEX SU:

SG-GT -- SF005 -- 3593 05/03/93 09:04 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 3, 1993
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