Firm Accused of Rejecting Applicant Not in 'Ideal' Age Range

The EEOC says a company violated federal law when it rejected a 58-year-old applicant upon learning that he was older than the company's ideal age range.

Seymour Midwest, a Warsaw, Indiana, hand tool manufacturing company, violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) when it rejected a 58-year-old executive upon learning that he was older than the company’s ideal age range of 45 to 52, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit.

According to the suit, Seymour Midwest selected Steve Maril, from a pool of applicants for its senior vice president of sales position, to participate in an initial, email-based interview. In addition to questions about Maril’s experience and willingness to relocate, the company asked whether Maril was within its ideal age range of 45 to 52. When Seymour Midwest learned that Maril was older than its ideal age range, the company refused to hire him.

EEOC’s suit seeks monetary relief for Maril as well as court injunctions intended to educate the company about its obligations under the ADEA, remedy past discrimination, and prevent future ADEA violations.

Laurie A. Young, regional attorney for EEOC’s Indianapolis District Office, said, “In rejecting an experienced applicant based on age, Seymour Midwest denied him his legal right to equal employment opportunity. Employers must look beyond age and focus on the qualifications of the individual, when making employment decisions.”

The lawsuit is EEOC v. Seymour Midwest LLC, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Case No. 3:15-cv-00350.