Federal Judge Approves Consent Decree Against Gulfstream

December 12, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A federal district judge has preliminarily approved a Consent Decree, awarding $2.1 million to 61 former employees who lost their jobs during layoffs at Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, according to an announcement by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today.

The Consent Decree, filed concurrently with a federal lawsuit by the EEOC, provides management training, reporting and posting by Gulfstream for the former employees, in addition to the monetary award.

“Companies that lay off older more experienced workers in order to retain younger, less senior individuals are violating the law and running the risk of being sued for discrimination,” said S Robert Royal, Regional Attorney for the EEOC’s Atlanta District Office. “These lawsuits can result in sizeable monetary awards against companies and damage their reputations. To its credit, Gulfstream has worked cooperatively with the EEOC in arriving at a Consent Decree that provides significant monetary and affirmative relief to the victims without the need for protracted litigation.”

In the filings, the EEOC alleged Gulfstream committed a violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), by targeting employees over the age of 40 for layoffs occurring between August 2000 and December 2000.

To provide evidence of this, the EEOC presented statistical findings showing a disparity in number of older to younger workers that were laid off.   Additionally, the EEOC had specific instances in which an older more senior worker was laid off in favor of a younger, less experience worker in the same position.   Gulfstream denied that it engaged in any discrimination based on age with the layoffs.