The EEOC reported on September 26, 2019 that a jury composed of nine members, In Brooklyn, entered a verdict for the EEOC against AZ Metro Distributors, LLC, on behalf of two of its employees. The defendant beverage distributor had fired two employees, on the same day, back in 2014 due to the ages.
The jury determined that the beverage distributors “willfully” violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The EEOC expects that the award “will trigger an eventual award of liquidated damages by the court.”
The EEOC presented evidence showing that the beverage company desired a “younger sales force.” The EEOC also showed that the defendant had indeed hired much younger workers after the two older workers had been fired. The defendant beverage company tried to argue that the two older workers agreed to leave the company voluntarily – and that they had not been fired. The trial took about six days. The jury took three-and-a-half hours to reach its verdict.
According to the EEOC lawyer, the jury clearly understood that the two sales workers were indeed fired for an “unfair and illegal reason” – they were too old. The director of the New York EEOC stated that, “”This case shows that judging older workers based on stereotypes about their age instead of their performance violates the ADEA, a statute EEOC will continue to vigorously enforce.”
The ADEA of 1967 prohibits employers from discriminating (in hiring, firing, promoting, advancement of the careers, and other employment matters) against workers 40 years of age and older. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces the ADEA.
Generally, the EEOC has the first right to decide if they will file a claim on behalf an employee. They file claims only after full investigations. They have the discretion to file a legal claim. If they don’t want to accept a case, the employee can file a separate claim with the help of an experienced employee rights attorney. Also, an experienced lawyer may be able to ask leave to file a claim before the EEOC completes its investigation.