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Metallic Products Sued For Age Discrimination


December 6, 2010 - A Houston manufacturer violated federal law by enforcing its mandatory retirement policy which required the discharge of employees when they reach age seventy, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed. 

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit (Civil Action No. 4:10-cv-04783) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division), Metallic Products had an unlawful mandatory retirement policy which required an employee to retire at the age of seventy (70).

The Complaint alleges that, under the policy, Jeronimo Vidals was told there would be no work for him after he turned seventy, and he was discharged on his 70 th birthday.


According to R.J. Ruff, Jr., district director of the EEOC's Houston District Office, "Individuals who want to work past an employer’s presumed retirement age are particularly vulnerable to employment practices designed to remove older workers from the workforce. Employers have a responsibility to provide everyone the freedom to compete fairly in the workplace regardless of age." 

Such policies violate the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). With rare exception, an employer may not force its employees to retire at any particular age. The EEOC filed the lawsuit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. In the suit, the EEOC is seeking a permanent injunction prohibiting the company from engaging in employment discrimination, as well as back pay, liquidated damages and other relief for Mr. Vidals. 

“The EEOC will aggressively prosecute all ADEA violations against employers who deny the rights and privileges of gainful employment to qualified, older individuals,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Jim Sacher. The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.

The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 prohibits discrimination on the basis of age in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. The Act, which applies to all ages, permits the use of certain age distinctions and factors other than age that meet the Act's requirements. The Age Discrimination Act is enforced by the Civil Rights Center.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects certain applicants and employees 40 years of age and older from discrimination on the basis of age in hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, or terms, conditions or privileges of employment. The ADEA is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) prohibits discrimination against applicants, employees and participants in WIA Title I-financially assisted programs and activities, and programs that are part of the One-Stop system, on the ground of age. In addition, WIA prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, political affiliation or belief, and for beneficiaries only, citizenship or participation in a WIA Title I-financially assisted program or activity. Section 188 of WIA is enforced by the Civil Rights Center.

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