According to an EEOC lawsuit, the flour and grain producer’s Indiantown, Florida, plant manager told Gary Legore, who was 52 years old at the time, that he “did not want to waste his time” and that he was looking for a “younger” person for the position whom he could “groom.” Legore had previously worked for Bay State Milling as a miller and has extensive experience in the milling industry. Ultimately, the EEOC said, the company hired a 23-year-old with little to no experience to fill the vacant miller position.
Legore complained to Bay State, but the plant manager’s decision was defended by company officials, who told him that the plant manager did not mean younger and that Legore was overqualified. “Age-based stereotypes, evidenced by euphemisms like ‘overqualified,’ rob qualified applicants of job opportunities,” said Regional Attorney Robert E. Weisberg of the Miami District Office.
The EEOC’s Miami District director, Malcolm Medley, added, “Applicants often don’t know that they have been discriminated against because of age. Where the EEOC finds such a violation, it will act to vigorously protect the rights of older workers to compete for available positions in the work force for which they are qualified.”