Training Center Settles Age-Bias Case with EEOC

November 18, 2005 ( - Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education and the Seafarers International Union (SIU) have agreed to pay $625,000 to settle an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lawsuit alleging age discrimination. reports that the EEOC alleged that the Paul Hall Center and SIU refused to admit anyone age 40 or older into an apprenticeship program.   The program trains individuals to become mariners in the US Merchant Marine.   Once training is completed, trainees are guaranteed jobs as unlicensed seamen onboard a SIU contracted vessel.

EEOC alleged that, in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), applicants who were at least 40 were sent letters advising them that they “must be between the ages of 18 and 25” to apply, said.   The EEOC also said admissions representatives coded the applications of many of the individuals over 40, noting they were “too old,” according to the lawsuit.

Under the terms of a consent decree the Paul Hall Center and SIU have agreed to pay a total of $625,000 to be distributed to a class of individuals who were denied the opportunity to attend the apprenticeship program.   The center and the union admitted no wrongdoing.