Posts Tagged ‘employer’s recruitment and hiring practices’

EEOC Wins Relief in Two Age Bias Cases

Comes word that employers in separate cases have settled claims of age discrimination in employment filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Office of Public Records will pay $60,000 and costs to settle a federal age discrimination lawsuit filed, ┬áthe EEOC announced on July 24.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Joseph Bednarik, who was over 40 years old, had graduated from law school with honors and had about 30 years of legal experience, including about 17 years with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, when he applied for an appeals officer position with the Office of Public Records. Appeals officers review citizen challenges to refusals by state government agencies to provide government records under Pennsylvania’s “open records” statute.

The EEOC charged that during Bednarik’s second interview for the position, the executive director of the Office of Public Records expressed concerns that Bednarik might not have a long tenure with the agency since he had already worked for the commonwealth for 17 years and might be nearing retirement. Despite Bednarik’s qualifications and positive employment reference, the Office of Public Affairs selected a significantly less experienced and younger applicant because of Bednarik’s age, the EEOC said.

Such alleged conduct violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), which makes it illegal to discriminate against individuals 40 or older based on age. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Office of Open Records, Civil Action No. 1-15-cv-01895) in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

“The EEOC will take vigorous action when an employer makes a hiring decision because of age,” said EEOC Philadelphia District Office Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence.

Spencer H. Lewis, Jr., director of the EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office, added, “As we mark the 50th anniversary of the ADEA this year, this case illustrates that age discrimination remains a serious problem in the workplace. This resolution should send a strong message to all employers, public and private, that the EEOC will not tolerate age discrimination in the workplace.”

In the second settlement, also announced on July 24, the EEOC said that SAN JUAN, P.R. – Meat Market San Juan, LLC, a steakhouse in San Juan, P.R., has agreed to pay a monetary amount to unsuccessful job applicants and to maintain a workplace free of discrimination to resolve an age discrimination investigation by the agency’s San Juan Local Office.

The agreement, a voluntary resolution, results from a multi-year EEOC investigation into Meat Market’s hiring and recruitment practices. As part of the agreement, Meat Market agreed to maintain a policy of hiring candidates without regard to their age.

Meat Market San Juan, LLC denied the allegations of the investigation but agreed to conciliate the matter with the EEOC. The parties have reached a resolution stipulating that Meat Market will take affirmative steps to institute new hiring and recruitment policies and put in place measures aimed at ensuring that age does not factor into hiring decisions in the future.

“We appreciate that Meat Market worked cooperatively with the EEOC to resolve this charge,” said William Sanchez, director of the EEOC’s San Juan Local Office. “This agreement ensures that the company will take proactive measures to prevent discrimination in the future by putting in place effective recruitment and hiring practices.”

The San Juan Local Office is part of the EEOC’s Miami District. The Miami District is responsible for investigating charges of discrimination in the State of Florida, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.