$1M Settles Age Bias Suit

07.31.2011
HR & Safety

A national communications company will pay $1 million and furnish other significant relief to settle an age discrimination lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

According to the EEOC, from 2003 and on, the company’s mid-Atlantic region had a practice of not hiring applicants age 40 or older for sales account executive positions. The EEOC charged that the company indicated both verbally and in writing that the company was looking for candidates for its sales positions who were “recent college graduates” and “in their early 20s or 30s.” The company offered its employees a $500 bonus for referral of a “friend’s younger brother or sister.”

The EEOC claimed that as a result of the discriminatory recruitment and hiring practices, the company maintained a workforce that underrepresented people age 40 or older in the sales positions within its mid-Atlantic region. The complaint also included individual claims of retaliation against two former employees who were demoted after complaining about the practices. One of the demoted employees resigned, while the other continued to complain about discrimination and was ultimately fired.

The $1 million in monetary relief will be distributed to the two individuals and to a class of individual age 40 or older who, the EEOC determined, were not hired because of their age. The company has also agreed to bring its practices into compliance with the law.

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