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EEOC Files Age Discrimination Lawsuit Claiming Employer Targeted Older Workers For Termination

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Having represented the victims of age discrimination for nearly twenty years, our Marion County, Florida employment discrimination attorneys learned that employers continue to target older employees for termination and replacement with younger employees.  As the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals observed in Graefenhain v. Pabst Brewing Co., 827 F.2d 13 (7th Cir. 1987), the U.S. Congress enacted the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) “because many employers or younger business executives act as if they believe there are good business reasons for discriminating against older employees.” Recognizing that the problem identified by the Graefenhain court still persists, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has initiated legal proceedings against an employer for allegedly making employment decisions based on a preference for youth.

On May 31, 2019, the EEOC issued a press release announcing that it has filed an age discrimination lawsuit against Capital City Dental Care (Capital City Dental) pursuant to the ADEA. Under the ADEA, it is unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees who are 40 years of age or older on the basis of age. On May 10, 2019, the EEOC filed the lawsuit, EEOC v. Michael A Sisk, DDS, LLC, d/b/a Capital City Dental Care, Case No. 1:19-cv-804, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania after initially attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its statutorily mandated conciliation process. The EEOC has brought the age discrimination lawsuit on behalf of five former employees of Capital City Dental who the EEOC claims were targeted for termination because of their age. In this article, our Marion County, Florida age discrimination lawyers explain the EEOC’s allegations against Capital City Dental.

EEOC’S Allegations Of Age Discrimination

Capital City Dental is a dental practice in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Since at least 2015, according to the EEOC, Capital City Dental has engaged in a pattern of terminating older dental hygienists and replacing them with younger employees. The EEOC claims that from September 2015 through November 2015, Capital City Dental fired eight out of nine dental hygienists over 40 years of age. Then, from August 2015 through February 2018, Capital City Dental replaced the terminated dental hygienists with thirteen out of fourteen employees who were under 40 years of age.

The EEOC alleges that Capital City Dental’s owner fired Tami Halstead (Halstead), a dental hygienist who was 56 years old and had been working at Capital City Dental for over twenty years, without warning and without any stated reason on September 23, 2015. Halstead’s replacement was 30 years old. The EEOC claims that the owner terminated another dental hygienist, Terry Doyle (Doyle), without warning and without any stated reason on October 6, 2015. Doyle was 59 years old when terminated and had been employed at Capital City Dental for over seventeen years. Doyle was replaced with another dental hygienist, age 26.

The EEOC contends that the owner fired Jennifer Smeal (Smeal), a dental hygienist who was 41 years old and had been employed by Capital City Dental for over twelve years, without warning and without any stated reason on October 6, 2015. Smeal’s replacement was 29 years old. According to the EEOC, the owner fired another dental hygienist, Angela Smith (Smith), on October 13, 2015 without warning and without any stated reason. Smith was 45 years old when fired and had been working at Capital City Dental for more than sixteen years. Smith was replaced by another dental hygienist, age 29. Finally, the EEOC alleges that the owner terminated another dental hygienist, Jennifer Veinos (Veinos), without warning and without any stated reason on November 12, 2015. Veinos was 43 years old when terminated and had worked at Capital City Dental for over fifteen years. Veinos’ replacement was 29 years old.

Employees Protected Against Age Discrimination

The EEOC is the administrative agency of the United States responsible for interpreting and enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. In enforcing the federal anti-discrimination laws, the EEOC is also authorized by federal law to bring lawsuits on behalf of victims of employment discrimination. In a press release issued by the EEOC regarding the case, a Regional Attorney for the EEOC, Debra M. Lawrence, stated that “[i]t’s not only unfair to fire qualified employees based on their age, it’s against the law.” The Director of the EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office, Jamie R. Williams, added that “[o]lder workers play a vital role in the workplace and our economy” and the “EEOC is committed to protecting employees from age discrimination.”

Free Consultation With Ocala Age Discrimination Lawyers

Based in Ocala, Florida and representing employees throughout Central Florida, we have represented employment discrimination victims in hundreds of cases before the EEOC. If you have been targeted for discrimination because of your age or have questions about laws prohibiting age discrimination in the workplace, please contact our office for a free consultation with our Marion County, Florida age discrimination attorneys. Our employment and labor law attorneys take employment 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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