October 16, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – The town of Elkton, Maryland, will pay $235,000 and furnish other relief to settle an age discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced.
The EEOC alleged in its lawsuit that Elkton fired Andrew Johnson from his position as assistant town administrator/finance director because of his age, 70. Johnson's age was openly discussed as the reason for replacing him during meetings of town officials.
One town commissioner said that Johnson was “in his 60s” and “no young chick” and suggested replacing him with a “young person out of college,” the EEOC charged . The town replaced him with two substantially younger employees, one as the assistant town administrator and the other as the finance director.
In addition to the $235,000 in monetary relief to Johnson, the 3.5-year consent decree resolving the lawsuit enjoins the town of Elkton from further discriminating against employees and applicants based on age. The town must implement and distribute to all employees a policy prohibiting age discrimination and provide annual training for managers and employees on the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and other federal equal employment opportunity laws. The town is also required to post a notice regarding the resolution of the lawsuit and report to the EEOC on its compliance with the consent decree.
EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence said, “We are confident that this settlement, including the mandatory training, will protect Elkton's employees and applicants from age discrimination in the future.”