Rockwell Settles Age Discrimination Charges

July 21, 2005 ( - Rockwell Automation will pay $180,000 to a 54-year-old man to settle age discrimination charges.

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said the pact disposes of its Boston Federal Court lawsuit filed in 2002, which accused the company of eliminating James Meluch’s management job and then forcing him to accept a lower-level position after he complained, the Associated Press reported.

According to the suit, Meluch was named regional director for the Northeast Region of the company’s Global Manufacturing Solutions division in 2001 and had received positive employee evaluations.

When his job was eliminated during restructuring, he was told he would be offered another position. Instead, Meluch, who worked for the company and its predecessor since 1977, learned the job was going to a man 15 years younger and with less experience, the suit said.

Meluch said he couldn’t even get an interview when he repeatedly applied for other jobs. He was then offered a position in Virginia for which he had not applied and was not qualified. It came with a significant pay cut and reduction in responsibilities, he said.

Steve Smith, media relations manager for Milwaukee-based Rockwell, said the decree the company signed was not an admission the company violated the law, and the company does not tolerate any discrimination or harassment.

Smith said all Rockwell supervisors are required to have extensive training about the equal opportunity law, and the decree includes “some refresher training” for managers in the department where Meluch worked.