EEOC Sues PJP Health Agency, Inc. for Age Discrimination and Retaliation

Health  Insurance Broker Harassed and Discharged Employees Because  of Their Age, Federal Agency Charges

NEW YORK - A health insurance  broker with offices in Melville, Lake Success and Garden City violated federal  law by subjecting three employees over 40 to age-based discrimination including  harassment, failure to promote, termination, and retaliation for complaining of  age discrimination, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)  charged in a lawsuit filed today.

The EEOC charged that PJP Health  Agency, Inc. (formerly known as Health and Life Direct Agency, Inc., Health and  Life Agency, Inc. and also known as Philip Teseo Senior and Philip Teseo Senior  Insurance) subjected its only three administrative staff members who were over age  40 to offensive age-based comments such as, "Get it together you f**king old  people" and "You need to wear more make-up because of your wrinkles" and "Look  at that old f**k."  The EEOC's Complaint  asserts that although PJP Health was aware of the harassment and discrimination  through numerous complaints of age discrimination, the company failed to take  appropriate action to investigate and correct the hostile work environment as  required by law. 

In addition, the Commission alleges  that PJP Health failed to promote a 45 year old woman because of her age and  later retaliated against her by terminating her three days after meeting with  her about her complaint of age discrimination, and that PJP Health terminated two  men based on their ages, 57 and 61.

Age discrimination and retaliation  for complaining about such discrimination violates the Age Discrimination in  Employment Act (ADEA).  The EEOC filed  suit (EEOC v. PJP Health Agency, Inc.,  Civil Number 2:13-cv-04092in the U.S.  District Court for the Eastern District of New York) after first attempting to  reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.  The federal agency seeks to eliminate these  discriminatory practices through injunctive relief to prevent future  discrimination and to compensate the employees for lost wages and other  monetary damages.

Sunu P. Chandy, EEOC Senior Trial  Attorney stated: "No one should have to choose between harassment because of  age or losing a job for speaking out."  

Regional Attorney Elizabeth  Grossman added: "Though progress has been made, age discrimination is still a  very real problem in the American workforce. We are dedicated to protecting  workers 40 and over who are subject to improper and illegal stereotyping."

Eliminating policies and practices  that discourage or prohibit individuals from exercising their rights under  employment discrimination statutes, or that impede the EEOC's investigative or  enforcement efforts, is one of six national priorities identified by the  Commission's Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP), and preventing workplace  harassment through systemic litigation and investigation is another agency  national priority.

The EEOC enforces federal laws  prohibiting employment discrimination.   More information about the EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.