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Job Applicant Claims Age Discrimination After Being Told He Was Too Old For Job

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For the past two decades, our Ocala, Florida age discrimination attorneys have fought for the rights of employees who have been discriminated against because of age. Having represented age discrimination victims for more than twenty years, our Marion County, Florida age discrimination lawyers know older workers continue to face substantial obstacles in their efforts to gain employment because of stereotypes about the productivity and competence of older employees. As observed by the U.S. Supreme Court in Hazen Paper Co. v. Biggins, 507 U.S. 604 (1993), “it is the very essence of age discrimination for an older employee to be fired because the employer believes that productivity and competence decline with age.” In this article, our Ocala, Florida age discrimination attorneys explain how an age discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) demonstrates that employers are forbidden from failing or refusing to hire older workers based on age stereotypes.

Age Discrimination Lawsuit

In a press release issued on June 30, 2021, the EEOC announced that it has entered into a Consent Decree resolving an age discrimination lawsuit against San Miguel Mountain Ventures, LLC, d/b/a Telluride Express (Telluride Express). On March 30, 2020, the EEOC filed the age discrimination lawsuit, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. San Miguel Mountain Ventures, LLC, d/b/a Telluride Express,  Case No. 1:20-cv-00881, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorando. In the Consent Decree, which was endorsed by the U.S. District Court Judge on June 29, 2021, Telluride agreed to pay $15,000 to resolve the age discrimination lawsuit.

Age Discrimination Victims’ Rights

The EEOC brought the age discrimination lawsuit pursuant to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) on behalf of an individual who applied for employment with Telluride Express, Charles Webber (Webber). The ADEA makes it an unlawful discriminatory employment practice for an employer to discriminate against job applicants or employees on the basis of age. The ADEA forbids discrimination on the basis of age in all aspects of employment, including hiring, pay, training, demotion, promotion, work assignments, layoff, and discharge. When an employer fails or refuses to hire an individual because of the individual’s age, the employer has unlawfully discriminated against the individual on the basis of age in violation of the ADEA. The EEOC maintains that Telluride Express violated the ADEA by failing or refusing to hire Webber because of his age.

EEOC Claims Age Discrimination

In October 2015, Webber submitted an application for employment with Telluride Express for a driver position. When he sought employment as a driver, Webber was seventy-nine years old and had more than five decades of commercial driving experience. Webber also had a valid medical certificate from the U.S. Department of Transportation and a clean driving record throughout the preceding three-year period. Based on this evidence, the EEOC contends that Webber possessed the requisite qualifications to be hired as a driver by Telluride Express.

The day after he applied for the driver position, Webber received a telephone call from the company’s Transportation Supervisor. During the telephone call, Webber was informed by the Transportation Supervisor that Telluride Express would not hire him for a driver position as the company’s commercial insurance policy would not cover him as driver because he was too old. In other words, Telluride Express told Webber that he would not be hired because of his age.

Less than a week after refusing to hire Webber for a driver position, according to the EEOC, Telluride Express hired eleven new drivers. The EEOC further alleges that Telluride Express hired thirty-two drivers in 2015. All of the thirty-two drivers hired by Telluride Express, the EEOC asserts, were between the ages of twenty-five and seventy. In 2015, the EEOC alleges, Telluride Express did not hire any drivers age seventy-one or older.

Lawyers For Age Discrimination Victims

The EEOC is the administrative agency of the federal government responsible for interpreting and enforcing the federal employment laws prohibiting discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. As part of its statutory mission to prevent and punish unlawful discriminatory employment practices, the EEOC brings lawsuits in federal court on behalf of employment discrimination victims, including age discrimination victims.

In a press release issued by the EEOC on June 30, 2021 regarding the case, a regional attorney for the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office, Mary Jo O’Neill, explained that “employers cannot be indifferent to any discriminatory features of policies that they choose to adopt from others.” “Employers are no less responsible for violating the ADEA,” Ms. O’Neill added, “simply because they acted on an insurance policy that they selected from a third party.” In commenting on the case, the Director of the EEOC’s Denver Field Office, Amy Burkholder, observed that “being under a certain age is not a qualification to drive a shuttle, bus, or taxi.” “Employers should ensure that they do not adopt insurance policies,” Ms. Burkholder added, “that rely on the kind of stereotypes that the ADEA was meant to combat.”

Ocala, FL Age Discrimination Attorneys

Based in Ocala, Florida and representing workers throughout Central Florida, our Marion County, Florida age discrimination lawyers have litigated age discrimination cases in Florida courts for more than twenty years. If you have been discriminated against because of age or have questions about your protection against age discrimination under the federal employment laws, please contact our office for a free consultation with our Ocala, Florida age discrimination attorneys. 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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