EEOC Accuses AT&T of Age Discrimination

August 21, 2009 ( - AT&T discriminated against older workers by refusing to rehire them because they had retired early under a company early retirement offering, a new lawsuit has charged.

The Associated Press reported that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) leveled that charge in an age-discrimination federal court lawsuit. The effect of this denial, the agency alleged, leads to a disproportionate number of older workers not having the same opportunity to apply for re-employment with the company as younger workers.

The EEOC said the policy has been in effect at AT&T since at least October 1, 2006, and has affected more than 50,000 employees.

“But I can tell you AT&T makes diversity and inclusion a top priority, and has received national recognition for its programs and performance,” AT&T spokesman Michael Coe told the Associated Press. “Discrimination of any sort, including that based on age, race, gender, ethnicity, religion, national origin or sexual orientation is not tolerated.”