You’re Fired!

by Deborah Z Mark


You’re fired!

Those two words may be most famously associated with the current Republican presidential nominee.

But let’s go down a different (although not necessarily higher) road.

Or street.

Sesame Street, the iconic children’s television show that debuted in 1969, recently fired three of its long time cast members.

Let’s count

The following people have been permanently relieved of their Sesame Street duties:

  1. Bob McGrath (who played Bob the music teacher), who is 84 years old and an original 1969 cast member
  2. Roscoe Orman (Gordon the science teacher), 72, who has been with the cast since 1974, and
  3. Emilio Delgado (Luis/”Mr. Fix-It”), 76, with the cast since 1971

I’m sure even Oscar the Grouch (who lives in a trash can) would agree with me: that stinks.

The remaining original cast members are Alan Muraoka (“probably 20 years younger than the rest of us”, says McGrath) (Muraoka is 53), and Chris Knowings (who McGrath says “is also young”) (Knowings is 36).


The times they are a-changin’.

According to McGrath, HBO is making changes to the show in an effort to appeal to a new cable audience with more tech-savvy kids.

The show is changing from an hour to a half hour. The episodes will be about a single topic. Smartphones and electronic devices will show up on a regular basis.

Welcome to the future.

The real reason?

The above reasons make sense.

Businesses, including television, must change with the times if they want to remain relevant.

But think about this:

Is relevance determined by a person’s age?

Is everyone on your street “young”?

Now answer this:

What about your employees?

Are they all “young”?

Take a second look

Here’s one really good reason to look at the group of people who make up your company:

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has laws that prohibit employment discrimination based on a number of categories.

Included is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), which protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older.

What to do?

This is not to say you can’t fire an employee 40 or over for cause.

With any employee who is not performing up to your company’s standards, do these three things (count with me again):

  1. Discuss and document performance issues with the employee
  2. Outline a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) and give opportunities for improvement before termination of employment
  3. Contact your managestaff HR Rep for guidance when considering termination. Your HR Rep will advise you of proper procedures to follow and the laws regarding final wage payment in your state.

One last question

Do you know how to get to your destination successfully?

Call managestaff.

We can tell you how to get there!


It’s what we do.

image: Stuart Miles/