EEOC Cases of Age and Wage Discrimination and Retaliation in January
January was a victorious month for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commision (EEOC). Between two age and wage discrimination cases, a total of $163,500 has been secured for victims to resolve these issues.
Is it illegal for an employer not to hire you because you do not fall within the “ideal age range”? The EEOC made it a point to reinforce the answer, “yes”. The Warsaw tool manufacturing company Seymour Midwest must now pay $100,000 and take any additional measures to offer relief from this age discrimination issue.
Latest EEOC Age Discrimination Case Resolved
Steve Maril was a potential job candidate selected to be screened via email interview for the Senior Vice President of Sales position at Seymour Midwest. The interview email for the job contained a question that asked if his age was within the company’s ideal age range of 45 to 52 years of age. After learning that he was older than the “ideal” age range, the company was no longer interested in hiring Maril.
Age-based discrimination against anyone older than 40 years of age is prohibited under the U.S. Age Discrimination in Employment Act. According to regional attorney Laurie A. Young of the EEOC’s Indianapolis District Office, “Seymour Midwest rejected an applicant older than its ‘ideal age range’ on the assumption he wouldn’t be working long enough. Making a decision based on an ageist stereotype is discrimination that will not be tolerated.”
Before a suit was filed by the EEOC, measures were taken to reach a resolution. The EEOC filed a suit against Seymour Midwest in the Northern District of Indiana alleging that the company was in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. In January, the case was resolved as Seymour Midwest was ordered to pay $100,000 and remedy the issue from the internal infrastructure of the company and hiring process by no longer collecting age-related information of job candidates and agreeing to periodic compliance reporting.
EEOC Wins Wage Discrimination and Retaliation Case
Another recent EEOC case was heard in January 2016 to resolve an alleged wage discrimination and retaliation by Gilber Foods LLC (Hearn-Kirkwood) a food manufacturer and Food Service Distributor. The company must now pay for a wage discrimination bias and resulting retaliation that cost a total of $63,500.
Sonia Coates was an order selector for Hearn-Kirkwood in Hanover, Maryland who claimed that she was being paid lower wages than her male counterparts despite the fact that she had more experience and performed equal work. Coates told coworkers that she planned to file a discrimination case after a new-hire male employee was hired at a significantly higher rate than she was being paid. After Coates’ manager learned of her plans to file a discrimination claim, he told her supervisor that the company planned to terminate her employment to avoid appearing unlawful due to the discrimination allegations.
Because of this retaliation and the disciplinary actions taken against Coates, the EEOC found Hearn-Kirkwood in violation of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The EEOC filed a suit in the Northern District of Maryland. Gilber Foods LLC (Hearn-Kirkwood) was ordered to pay $63,500 in back pay, attorney fees, and compensatory damages to Coates to resolve sex-based wage discrimination and related retaliation actions. In addition, Hearn-Kirkwood must also provide more adequate training to the management and human resources departments for laws against wage discrimination and other forms of discrimination as well as report on the status of its compliance.
Are you or someone you know the victim of discrimination on the job?
You need an aggressive advocate for workplace justice. Let an experienced employment law attorney at Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A., fight for a fair resolution. Contact us to learn more about your case.
Please Note: At the time this article was written, the information contained within it was current based on the prevailing law at the time. Laws and precedents are subject to change, so this information may not be up to date. Always speak with a law firm regarding any legal situation to get the most current information available.