When most people hear the words “gender discrimination,” they picture a woman as the victim. However, it is important to understand that men can be the victims of gender discrimination as well.

Take, for example, the case of former Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne Chancellor Michael Wartell. He says he was fired from his job based on gender discrimination, and he has filed a lawsuit against the university.

Wartell was forced to retire in June 2012 after he turned 65, which is the mandatory retirement age. However, he claims that other officials were given an extension when they reached age 65. In fact, he says that he was the only Purdue official who was forced to retire at age 65.

Before the retirement became official, Wartell used the university’s internal complaint system to make formal allegations of harassment and gender discrimination. While the university agreed to appoint a third-party investigator, Wartell says the person he thought was a neutral investigator actually turned out to be an attorney working for the university.

After his internal complaint was denied, Wartell filed a discrimination charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. He is now pursuing a lawsuit against the university.

Wartell says the university forced him to retire because it wanted to increase the number of women it had in top administrative position. He says his firing had nothing to do with his job abilities.

Somewhat ironically, though, Wartell is actually the subject of two discrimination lawsuits himself. The claims were brought by two female former employees who say that they were demoted based on gender and age discrimination.

Source: FW Daily News, “Wartell claims forced retirement the result of gender discrimination,” April 29, 2013