Exact Sciences Settles Age Discrimination Lawsuit with EEOC, Pays $90,000 in Damages to Rejected Applicant
- posted: Feb. 08, 2024
- Employee Rights
Exact Sciences Corporation, a Wisconsin-based molecular diagnostics company, has agreed to settle an age discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The settlement involves Exact Sciences paying $90,000 in monetary damages to a 49-year-old applicant who was rejected for a sales position by a third-party recruiter. The recruiter allegedly cited the applicant as "overqualified" and expressed a preference for a younger candidate with long-term commitment potential. The EEOC claimed that this conduct violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which prohibits age-based discrimination. Despite the settlement, Exact Sciences denies violating the ADEA.
In addition to the monetary settlement, Exact Sciences will implement further training for hiring managers to address age discrimination and will ensure that any future third-party recruiters are aware of the company's policies against age discrimination during the hiring process. The consent decree aims to rectify the alleged violation and prevent similar incidents in the future. The EEOC emphasized that the ADEA applies to employers using third-party recruiters and highlighted the importance of hiring based on qualifications rather than age-related stereotypes.
Amy Burkholder, director of the EEOC's Denver Office, emphasized that recruiters are not permitted to discriminate based on age, urging employers to consider applicants over 40 who may be making mid-career transitions and bring valuable prior work experience. Mary Jo O’Neill, the EEOC’s Phoenix District regional attorney, encouraged all employers to focus on hiring the best applicants based on qualifications and avoid screening candidates based on cultural stereotypes about older or "overqualified" workers.
Addressing Age Discrimination in the Workplace
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits harassment and discrimination based on age in various aspects of employment, encompassing job assignments, promotions, training, and benefits, as outlined in an EEOC guidance document. Despite the protective measures established by the ADEA, commentators have consistently identified age discrimination as a persistent and enduring form of workplace bias.
Whether you find yourself as an employee grappling with age discrimination or a manager facing accusations of such practices, seeking legal counsel is essential. Legal guidance can provide clarity on potential violations, help you understand your options, and advocate for a fair resolution. The Kardell Law Group specializes in representing individuals across the spectrum, including workers, managers, and other clients, in a broad range of labor and employment matters, including issues related to age discrimination. Their expertise and commitment to ensuring justice make them a valuable resource for those seeking effective legal representation in navigating the challenges of workplace discrimination.