Human Resources News & Insights

Was it spoiled ice cream or age discrimination that got worker fired?

The Wisconsin Equal Rights Division is looking into the firing of a University of Wisconsin-Madison employee who claims her dismissal is a case of age and gender discrimination. The university says she was fired because of outdated ice cream.

Eileen Karre was the manager of the university’s Babcock Dairy Store for 20 years. She was fired last July for violating food safety and quality rules.

Documents say she allegedly sold expired ice cream and failed to enforce store cleanliness, according to The Badger Herald.

Karre says many of the stated reasons for her firing were the faults of other employees or the ice cream production plant.

University documents also allege Karre made two Asian student employees wear name tags because they looked similar and she couldn’t tell them apart.

Karre said, “They look alike, and I’m bad with names anyway. It had nothing to do with their nationality. I just couldn’t tell them apart.”

She also claims she made all employees wear name tags.

Karre says she tasted all the supposedly outdated ice creams personally to tell if they were expired. She says she did have workers throw out some expired sherbets, but that the ice creams were good.

The university has declined comment on Karre’s claims because of the pending investigation.

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  1. I remembered very well as a child my mother doing the same thing with ice cream in the freezer as this lady did. Our ice cream would be several “months” expired and she would still insist that it was good because it tasted ok to her. The cream in the ice cream was separated and little balls were formed and it just tasted horrible but Mom would still eat it, like it and insist that we eat it before buying more. Needless to say, my brothers and I gave up ice cream and only ate it at our friends’ houses.

    With food poisoning and so many other very obvious reasons for not serving expired foods I would have wrote her up and probably demoted her. If the situation of serving expired products or cleanliness did not improve I would then had to fire her for just the fear of being sued by my customers or losing my customers.

  2. If this woman believes a personal taste test overrides the manufacturer’s stated expiration, she has no business supervising a food service operation.

  3. Interesting that she’s blaming others. As Manager, she is responsible for training and supervising her employees. It is the manager’s responsibility to ensure staff adhere to rules and follow safety/cleanliness guidelines. Blaming the production plant for having expired ice cream is a bit of a stretch.

  4. “they look alike and im bad with names anyway.”