Well Heeled: DSW Settles ADEA Suit Arising From Firing of Management Employees

When you enter a DSW store and buy shoes–at least in the store I go to–you see people of all different ages working the floor and the registers, all with the mission of you walking out with at least one new pair of shoes.

But apparently something more nefarious was going on in the company’s Midwest regional office, where the EEOC alleged that seven former management employees over age 40 were targeted for discharge as part of a “reduction in force.”  On their behalf and a larger class of former employees, the commission sued the company for violating the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

Today came the news from the EEOC that the case has settled for $90,000.  As part of the settlement, DSW also must report to the EEOC for the next three years on all employee complaints of age discrimination arising out of the regions covered by the settlement decree. It must also train all its employees in these locations on the prevention and eradication of age discrimination, and also revise its anti-discrimination policy.

It only took DSW–formerly Designer Shoe Warehouse–a week to settle the lawsuit after it was filed, which tells me that the EEOC probably had a pretty strong case against the company, that it just wanted to go away.


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