EEOC Hits Sears with Age Bias Complaint

September 28, 2009 ( - A Corpus Christi, Texas, Sears store violated federal law by refusing to hire a 61-year-old applicant because of his age, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has charged in a lawsuit.

According to the EEOC’s suit, the store refused to hire the applicant into a loss prevention/asset protection associate position despite his qualifications and 27 years of experience. Sears explained to the EEOC that the man was “not a good fit and would be too hard to train.”

Sears subsequently hired a number of individuals, most of whom were under 30, and none of them had experience comparable to the 61-year-old applicant.

The EEOC filed suit alleging violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) after trying to work out a voluntary settlement, the agency said.

“Given today’s economic climate, we are seeing more and more older workers choosing to remain in the workforce and compete for scarce jobs,” said Judith G. Taylor, supervisory trial attorney for the EEOC’s San Antonio Field Office, in an agency news release. “Too often employers simply write off older applicants, with age being the determinative factor. All people, regardless of age, deserve an equal chance to compete and advance in the workplace, and the EEOC will fight for the rights of older workers, by litigation if necessary.”