The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a government agency charged with enforcing federal civil rights laws, such as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). The ADEA protects 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. At Trusaic, we recently highlighted the EEOC’s enforcement activities via a legal victory against Jet Propulsion Laboratories and updated guidance on the treatment of older employees when considering COVID-19 workplace policies.

On July 13, 2020, the EEOC continued its focus on deterring age discrimination by posting a settlement announcement with a CBS affiliate in Texas for $215,000. In 2017, the EEOC sued CBS Stations Group of Texas, a division of CBS Corporation, for refusing to hire Tammy Campbell for a full-time traffic reporter position because of her age. Instead of hiring Campbell, who was over 40, and had a number of years of freelance traffic reporting experience, the EEOC claimed the CBS affiliate hired a 24-year-old applicant who did not have the relevant experience detailed in the job posting. (The EEOC noted that the applicant was a former NFL cheerleader). The company had also made an offer to a 27-year old applicant who accepted and then withdrew from the hiring process.

Under the terms of the settlement, which was approved by a federal judge, CBS Stations Group of Texas will pay $215,000 to Ms. Campbell, commit not to engage in age discrimination, update its ADEA training, publish a notice of employee rights, and submit to monitoring by the EEOC.

With this latest victory, the EEOC provides a clear warning to employers to remain proactive addressing age discrimination. Experts across the human capital, legal services, and business intelligence industries recommend a pay equity audit as a critical tool in employer’s risk management tool belt. A pay equity audit can measure, among other important data points, the age effects on compensation to determine if age discrimination in setting wages poses a risk to operations. It can also provide actionable intelligence to address such risk before, for example, the EEOC gets involved.

Not sure how to get started? Let Trusaic provide your organization with a free Pay Gap Assessment, which can be conducted confidentially. Here is what you will get:

  • 1-hour consultation to our pay equity team comprised of regulatory compliance experts and data scientists;
  • Answers to your pay equity questions;
  • A pay gap analysis of your workforce.