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EEOC Age Discrimination Lawsuit Claims Reporter Was Not Hired Because Of Her Age

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On July 13, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a press release announcing that it has entered into a Consent Decree to settle an age discrimination lawsuit against CBS Stations Group of Texas (CBS). On August 5, 2017, the EEOC filed the lawsuit, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. CBS Stations Group of Texas,Case No. 3:17-cv-02624, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas after initially trying to resolve the case through its statutorily mandated conciliation process. Unable to resolve the case through conciliation efforts, the EEOC then moved forward with addressing the alleged unlawful employment practices through litigation. In the Consent Decree, which was signed by U.S. District Court Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn on July 12, 2020, CBS agreed to pay $215,000 to resolve the age discrimination lawsuit.

The EEOC filed the age discrimination lawsuit pursuant to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) on behalf of an individual seeking employment with CBS, Tammy Dombeck Campbell (Campbell). Under the ADEA, employers are forbidden from discriminating against job applicants and employees on the basis of age. The EEOC claims that CBS discriminated against Campbell by refusing to hire her because of her age. In this article, our Marion County, Florida age discrimination lawyers explain the EEOC’s allegations of unlawful age discrimination against CBS.

EEOC Claims Unlawful Age Discrimination

In February 2013, Campbell began working for a television owned and operated by CBS in the Dallas/Fort Worth area as a freelance, non-staff traffic reporter on occasional morning and evening news broadcasters. Her work included backing up the full-time morning traffic reporter. Prior to working for CBS, Campbell worked as a full-time traffic reporter for a rival television station in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Consequently, when she began working for CBS, Campbell already had experience has a traffic reporter in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and was knowledgeable of traffic problems in Dallas/Forth Worth area.

On October 31, 2014, the full-time traffic reporter for CBS resigned. In searching for a replacement, CBS issued a job announcement for the full-time traffic reporter position which stated that the “ideal candidate for the position would have on-air traffic reporting experience, as well as strong knowledge of local traffic in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.” The “required qualifications” section of the announcement stated that an “applicant must have at least 5 years of professional broadcasting experience.” Campbell applied for the morning full-time traffic reporter position. Campbell was over age 40 at the time of her application. Following the resignation of the morning full-time traffic reporter, Campbell continued to fill in as a freelance, non-staff traffic reporter.

Employer Wanted Younger Employee EEOC Claims

In early December 2014, CBS offered the full-time traffic reporter position to a 27-year-old, less qualified applicant who accepted the position. At the time, Campbell was told by CBS that she was not hired for the position. The 27-year-old applicant did not have any broadcast experience in the Dallas/Fort Worth area nor did she have a “strong knowledge” of local traffic in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Before starting work, the 27-year-old applicant withdrew her application and CBS resumed its search for a morning full-time traffic reporter. Campbell continued working on the morning news broadcast as a freelance, non-staff traffic reporter.

After another search, CBS offered the full-time traffic reporter position to a 24-year-old, less qualified applicant. The younger applicant did not have 5 years of professional broadcasting experience. The younger applicant did not have any broadcast experience in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, nor did she have a “strong knowledge” of local traffic in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Protection Against Age Discrimination

The EEOC is the administrative agency of the United States responsible for interpreting and enforcing federal employment laws prohibiting discrimination, including age discrimination. In fulfilling its Congressional mandate of enforcing the federal employment laws, the EEOC has the statutory right to bring lawsuits on behalf of job applicants and employees who have been unlawfully discriminated against on the basis of age. In a press release issued by the EEOC on July 13, 2020 regarding the case, a trial attorney for the EEOC’s Dallas District Office, Joel Clark, stated that “Tammy Campbell was clearly qualified for the position of traffic reporter,” and the “EEOC argued to the court that CBS preferred a younger, qualified applicant, and that the employer defaulted to unfounded stereotypes about female reporters.” In commenting on the case, a regional attorney for the EEOC’s Dallas District Office, Rudy Sustaita, stated that “in explaining its decision, the company relied on what it called the ‘it’ factor. The EEOC was prepared to prove that, for Ms. Campbell, it was her age.”

Consult With Ocala, FL Age Discrimination Lawyers

Based in Ocala, Florida and representing employees throughout Central Florida, our Marion County, Florida age discrimination attorneys have been fighting for the rights of age discrimination victims for more than two decades. If you have been discriminated against on the basis of age or have questions about your protection against age discrimination under the federal anti-discrimination laws, please contact our office for a free consultation with our Ocala, Florida age discrimination lawyers. Our employee rights law firm takes age discrimination cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that there are no attorney’s fees incurred unless there is a recovery and our attorney’s fees come solely from the monetary award that you recover.

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