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Computer Systems to Pay $32,500 in EEOC Age Discrimination Suit

Employee Was Singled  Out for Firing Based on Age, Federal Agency Charged

GREEN BAY, Wis. - A  federal judge in Green Bay has entered a consent decree resolving an age  discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity  Commission (EEOC) against Computer Systems LLC, of Shawano, Wis.

According to the EEOC's suit, Computer Systems chose Sharon Passon  (age 60) as the billing specialist whose job would be eliminated in an April 2010  reduction-in-force and instead retained a younger (age 34) and less qualified billing  specialist.  Passon had worked at  Computer Systems for 38 years before being fired.

Selecting an employee for termination based on her age violates the Age Discrimination in  Employment Act (ADEA).  The EEOC filed  suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin after first  attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation  process.

The consent decree settling the suit (EEOC v. Computer  Systems LLC, No. 2:11-cv-1178),  entered on Friday, October 26, 2012 by U.S.  District Judge William C. Griesbach, provides that Computer Systems will  pay Sharon Passon $32,500 and prohibits future discrimin­ation.  Also, if the company, which was sold in  November 2010, resumes operations, it will be required to train its managers  and supervisors regarding an employer's obligations and the rights of employees  under the ADEA.

 "In recent years, the  economic slowdown has led some companies to base employment decisions on an  individual's age," said John C. Hendrickson, regional attorney of the EEOC's  Chicago District Office, which is responsible for EEOC litigation in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota and South    Dakota.   "Sometimes we need to reinforce, through litigation, the message that older  individuals are productive workers and should be rewarded for their loyalty and  hard work.  We appreciate Computer  Systems' willingness to provide relief for Ms. Passon and to ensure that discrimination  does not recur." 

Computer Systems LLC formerly engaged in retail billing,  operational support, and account­ing software and data processing services for  telecommunications companies.  In  November 2010, Computer Systems sold its assets and operations, but not its  liabilities, to National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) of Cedar  Rapids, Iowa, Lake Saint Louis, Mo., Mandan, N.D. and Shawano, Wis.  NISC has no responsibility for Computer  Systems' decision to terminate Passon's employment. 

The  EEOC's litigation efforts were led by Senior Trial Attorney Dennis R. McBride of  its Milwaukee Area Office and Associate Regional Attorney Jean Kamp of its  Chicago District Office.  

The  EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment.  Further information about the Commission is  available on its website at