The EEOC announced settlement of the suit filed on behalf of a 70-year-old pharmacist at a Honolulu store. The agency had charged that Kmart’s actions violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).
According to the EEOC’s suit, over the course of four years, a pharmacy manager openly professed on several occasions that the pharmacist was “too old,” “should just retire,” and was “greedy” for continuing to work at age 70. Not only that, the EEOC said, the manager continued to humiliate her in writing by stating, “The pharmacy is no longer your forte” and “You need to retire from pharmacy work now,” in a communication book open to the entire department.
The Kmart manager was accused of scheduling her to work on Sundays – knowing that she attended church those days – to encourage her to quit. The EEOC said the victim had complained to Kmart officials but no action was taken.
“Instead of addressing this pharmacist’s legitimate complaints of age discrimination, Kmart made a bad situation worse by threatening her for complaining,” said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru, in the announcement. “Such retaliation only compounds an employer’s culpability.”
The company also agreed to a variety of measures relating to keeping track of its future compliance with federal anti-discrimination laws.