Fischer Connectors, Inc., a Swiss-based national manufacturer of circular connectors used in medical devices, will pay $460,000 to settle an age discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
According to the EEOC’s suit, in early 2019, Fischer Connectors hired a new president, and under the direction of the president and chief executive officer, the company made plans to eliminate all older management and sales employees and replace them with a new, younger work force. The HR director then witnessed Fischer Connectors repeatedly turning down qualified older employees in favor of less-qualified, younger employees and forcing out all older upper-management employees. When the employee questioned the company’s actions and refused to participate, she was ultimately fired and replaced by two younger individuals.
Such alleged conduct violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) which prohibits discrimination based on an employee’s age. The EEOC filed suit (Civil Action No. 1:22-CV-03884-SCJ-CCB) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement via its conciliation process. The EEOC is seeking back pay, front pay, and liquidated damages, as well as injunctive relief to prevent future discrimination.
“It is illegal for an employer to make employment decisions based on an employee’s age,” said Marcus G. Keegan, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Atlanta District Office. “This is a textbook example of age discrimination.”
Darrell Graham, district director of the Atlanta office, said, “The EEOC remains steadfast in its commitment to enforce the laws that protect individuals 40 years of age and older from unlawful discrimination.”
EEOC resources around age discrimination are available here: https://www.eeoc.gov/age-discrimination.
Lisa Smith, SPHR, SCP
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