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3M Settles Class Action Age Discrimination Lawsuit for $3 Million

September 1, 2011

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects employees who are forty years old and older from workplace age discrimination. As our Carson employment lawyer blog has reported in a related post, it is a violation of the ADEA to discriminate against an employee based on age in hiring, training, promotion, employment assignments, layoffs, firing, or in compensation or benefits. Harassment or retaliation based on age is also against the law.

In recent class action age discrimination news, 3M, the global technology company, has agreed to compensate a class of former employees with $3 million, after a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged the company with age discrimination by unlawfully laying off employees who were over the age of 45.

According to the lawsuit, in a series of reductions in force (RIFs), 3M illegally laid off hundreds of employees who were over the age of 45 in a three-year span between 2003 and 2006. 3M reportedly extended the lay offs to many older employees who received high compensations to save money, and let workers in salaried positions go. The EEOC claims that the older employees were also denied leadership training, and were let go to allow younger leaders to move forward. An email was also discovered by the EEOC that detailed then-CEO Jim McNerney's idea of leadership development, which included developing 30-year-old workers who had the potential to be General Managers.

Under the consent decree 3M will pay $3 million to around 290 former employees in monetary relief, pending judicial approval. 3M will also reportedly create a review process for termination decisions and will implement preventative training on how to eliminate age discrimination in the workplace. The technology company will also post job openings for new positions that have not been advertised previously, in order to enable older employees to apply for the opportunity.

According to the EEOC, under the ADEA, employers are required to base all employment decisions on the strengths and talents of an individual employee, and not on generalized assumptions that revolve around a person's age.

Our experienced Costa Mesa-based labor and employment lawyers are knowledgeable about workplace age discrimination in Orange County, California. If you or someone you know has been discriminated or retaliated against because of your age, contact Howard Law, PC today. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-872-5925 to discuss your employment rights.

3M to Pay $3 Million to Settle EEOC Age Discrimination Suit, EEOC Press Release, August 22, 2011

Related Web Resources:

Facts About Age Discrimination, EEOC

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, (EEOC)

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