Settlement Reached in MN School District Age Discrimination Lawsuit

July 13, 2005 ( - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that the Wells School District in Minneapolis has agreed to pay $98,000 to 12 teachers to settle an age discrimination lawsuit, according to the Associated Press.

From June 1998 through 2000, the district provided retiring employees a cash incentive for retiring early, then reduced that benefit based on the employee’s age, the EEOC said, according to the AP. As a result, certain teachers who retired during that time before they were 65 years old received fewer benefits than younger retirees with comparable years of service.

The EEOC sued the district saying this early retirement incentive violated the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).

The settlement amount represents the benefit the teachers should have received when age is removed from the equation, plus interest, the AP reports. As part of the settlement, the district also agreed it won’t implement early retirement incentive plans in which benefits are reduced based on the recipients’ age.

According to news reports, other EEOC actions include:

  • A discrimination case against Allied Aviation Services Inc. on behalf of three employees of its facility at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. The company is accused of discriminating against black and hispanic workers and failing to stop white employees from using racial slurs in the work place.
  • A discrimination lawsuit against Highland Hospital and its parent company Strong Health and affiliates for allegedly telling housekeepers that they could not speak Spanish at work.
  • A class action suit in which the EEOC decided a New York state civil service promotional exam discriminated against blacks and hispanics.
  • A retaliation claim against two Chicago car dealerships relating to a sexual harassment claim. The EEOC says the employer told the employee who filed the complaint of sexual harassment to drop it or face termination. When the employee took leave relating to his case, the employer fired him.