$201,000 Settlement in Age Discrimination Lawsuit Against Texas Company, Training Ordered

Monday, May 21, 2012

Question:  Would age discrimination training have prevented this case?  See our trainings at http://www.hrclassroom.com.

A Carrollton,  Texas-based distributor of specialty fasteners with sales territories that span the country will pay $200,000 and furnish other relief to settle an age  discrimination lawsuit.

According  to the EEOC's lawsuit, Advance Components' executive vice president and general  manager, Gary Craven, made ageist comments to Dan Miller, a 64-year-old  national sales manager, and finally fired him because of his age. Miller had almost 20 years experience selling  the company's products and had been hired by Advance Components' founder. According to the EEOC, Craven called Miller  "old-fashioned" and repeatedly expressed his preference to hire  younger salesmen with his motto: "30-30-30. Hire a 30-year-old with an IQ of 30 and pay him $30,000." Craven also allegedly  made comments about outside sales being a young man's game because they were  more "driven" and that he wanted to "put young guys on the  street."

Miller was  fired on Oct. 6, 2009. His position was  filled the following day by a man in his 30s.

Discriminating against an employee  because of his age violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act  (ADEA). The EEOC filed suit (Civil  Action No. 3-11-cv-2081-B in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of  Texas, Dallas Division) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement  through its conciliation process. 

In the  consent decree settling the suit, signed by Judge Jane J. Boyle on May 18, 2012,  Advance Components agreed to pay $201,000 to Dan Miller. The company will also train management  (including the owners) and supervisory personnel on equal employment  opportunity (EEO) policies and procedures, including those on age  discrimination. The company will be  required to enforce a written policy against age discrimination and  retaliation.

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