Phoenix Waste Disposal Firm Settles Age Case for $2.9M

September 30, 2010 ( – A Phoenix-based solid waste disposal company has agreed to a $2.9-million settlement of a class action lawsuit alleging age discrimination against older workers.

A news release from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said Republic Services and its subsidiary Republic Silver State Disposal were charged with terminating and denying job transfer opportunities to 21 employees at its Southern Nevada facilities over the age of 40 because of their age.

The list of terminated employees includes garbage collectors, drivers, and supervisors, some of whom were employed by the company for more than 25 years. The EEOC contends that those jobs were then offered to younger employees who were subsequently held to lower performance standards. The EEOC further alleged that Republic engaged in a form of hazing called “break him off,” in which some employees were worked to the point of exhaustion, often making it difficult for them to do their jobs.

“No one should be harassed at work or forced out of a job for discriminatory reasons,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien, in the news release. “The law clearly prohibits mistreatment or dismissal of older workers on account of their age, and no workplace should lose productive and valuable employees because of illegal age stereotyping.”

Republic operate more than 375 collection companies in 40 states and Puerto Rico and provide services to commercial, industrial, municipal and residential customers, according to its Web site.