The New York Post reported on the lawsuit of Barbara Simpson, a 59-year-old mixologist and seasoned music industry veteran, who is suing Live Nation for age discrimination. Simpson worked at Gramercy Theatre and Irving Plaza, two historic entertainment venues in Manhattan, owned and operated by Live Nation. According to the lawsuit, Simpson was fired after 19 years of service at the venues because of her age, in violation of both New York City and New York State Human Rights Laws.
Prior to her employment at Live Nation, Simpson had a twenty-year career in the music industry, running a record label for Atlantic Records and managing various artists. Simpson developed relationships and friendships with executives in the industry as well as famous musicians, including the Allman Brothers and the Roots. Given her experience in the music business and her engaging personality, Simpson was a natural for the bartending job at Live Nation and she had a 19-year run at the venues.
In November of 2018, employees working at Gramercy Theatre and Irving Plaza, including Simpson, were informed of a change in operations management at the venues. Despite her tenure and spotless work record, Simpson was terminated during the transition. According to the lawsuit, Simpson received an email from the incoming operations management company, which was hired by Live Nation, noting that they were “only allowed to hire a certain number of employees” at their venues. However, following Simpson’s termination, the company hired a new group of female bartenders for the venues, all under the age of 40.