EEOC Sues Seymour Midwest for Age Discrimination

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
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Agency Alleges Company Rejected an Applicant Older than Its Ideal Age

INDIANAPOLIS -- Seymour Midwest, a Warsaw, Indiana, hand tool manufacturing company, violated federal law when it rejected a 58-year-old executive upon learning that he was older than the company's ideal age range of 45-52, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.

According to EEOC's suit, Seymour Midwest selected Steve Maril, from a pool of applicants for its senior vice president of sales position, to participate in an initial, email-based interview. In addition to questions about Maril's experience and willingness to relocate, the company asked whether Maril was within its ideal age range of 45-52. When Seymour Midwest learned that Maril was older than its ideal age range, the company refused to hire him. 

Such alleged conduct violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which prohibits age-based discrimination against applicants who are age 40 or older. EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Seymour Midwest LLC, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Case No. 3:15-cv-00350) after first attempting to reach a settlement through its conciliation process. 

EEOC's suit seeks monetary relief for Maril as well as court injunctions intended to educate the company about its obligations under the ADEA, remedy past discrimination, and prevent future ADEA violations.

Laurie A. Young, regional attorney for EEOC's Indianapolis District Office, said, "In rejecting an experienced applicant based on age, Seymour Midwest denied him his legal right to equal employment opportunity. Employers must look beyond age and focus on the qualifications of the individual, when making employment decisions." 

EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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