EEOC Sues Employer for Age Discrimination

October 01, 2018

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed a lawsuit against Norfolk Southern Corporation, which operates a 20,000-mile freight railroad system in the eastern United States, alleging it violated federal law when it denied employment opportunities to qualified job applicants because of their age. According to the lawsuit, the company preferred to hire individuals under the age of 52 for special agent positions in the railroad’s law enforcement and security detail because Norfolk Southern assumed older workers would retire soon after they were hired. For example, one 56-year-old applicant was told that he would not advance in the hiring process because he was over the age of 52. The alleged conduct violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which prohibits age discrimination against people who are 40 or older. This includes screening out older job applicants based on the assumption that, because of their age, they are less committed to remaining in the workforce. Before taking adverse action against an applicant or employee based on their age, we recommend all employers contact SESCO to ensure ADEA compliance.