Greenacres, FL Grocery Store Pays $20,000 to Settle Age Discrimination Lawsuit
On October 20th, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that JUMBO—a grocery store located in Greenacres, FL—will pay $20,000 to resolve an age discrimination lawsuit. In addition, the employer will revise its personnel practices in order to ensure fair treatment in the workplace. Below, our West Palm Beach employment lawyers provide an overview of the allegations, the settlement, and federal age discrimination lawsuits in general.
Allegations: “Look, Old Lady”
According to the allegations published by the EEOC, the employee in the case was a 57-year-old cook manager. She arrived at work one day to unexpectedly find that her proposed replacement was waiting there. The general manager wanted her to train her replacement. The EEOC notes that the proposed replacement was 20 years younger than the employee. In discussing the matter, the General Manager for the Palm Beach County, FL grocery store allegedly told the employee “look, old lady” and it is “time for you to rest” and give up your position to someone younger.
The EEOC alleges that this employee was wrongfully demoted and terminated in violation of federal age discrimination laws. In its legal action, the EEOC contended that age was the motivating factor in the personnel decision. The grocery store eventually agreed to pay $20,000 in compensation to settle the employment law claim. Additionally, it entered into a multi-year consent decree designed to reform its practice and ensure full compliance with age discrimination regulations.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) Protects Workers 40 Years Old and Older
The employment lawsuit at issue in this case was filed under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Passed into law back in 1967, the ADEA provides legal protections to workers 40 years of age and older. Under the ADEA, these workers cannot be discriminated against based on age in hiring, promotion, pay, benefits, and termination. The EEOC is the federal agency that is primarily responsible for enforcing the ADEA.
As a representative for the EEOC noted in resolving this case, workers should be assessed on their individual qualifications for a position, not on “outdated notions” about what an older person can and cannot do in the workplace. The alleged comments made by the general manager demonstrated bias on the basis of age. The grocery store did not admit or deny wrongdoing in this case. Still, the case should serve as an important reminder that employers have a legal responsibility to ensure that older workers are being treated fairly and justly in the workplace.
Call Our West Palm Beach Age Discrimination Lawyers for Help
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our West Palm Beach age discrimination attorneys have experience representing employers and employees. We will protect your rights and help you find the best solution. Call us now for strictly confidential case evaluation. We handle employment law claims throughout Palm Beach County, including in Jupiter, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, North Palm Beach, and Wellington. Our firm also has an office location in Miami.