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EEOC Sues TEPRO for Age Discrimination

Auto  Parts Maker Demoted and Then Fired Many Employees Because of Age, Federal  Agency Charges

WINCHESTER, Tenn. - TEPRO, Inc., a manufacturer of  automotive parts, violated federal law by subjecting a class of 20 or more  employees to age discrimination, the U.S. Equal Employ­ment Opportunity  Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed on November 15, 2012

The EEOC's suit (Civil Action No. 4:12-CV-00075), filed in  U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, Winchester  Division), alleges that TEPRO, operating a facility in Winchester, Tenn.,  targeted and terminated employees on account of age, while retaining younger  employees.  TEPRO told older employees  that they had to accept demotions or lose their jobs, and then eliminated those  jobs anyway. 

TEPRO  is a Tennessee corporation and subsidiary of the Kinugawa Rubber Industrial Co.,  a Japanese manufacturer of automotive parts with overseas facilities.  TEPRO supplies automotive parts for various  automobile manufacturers. 

The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a  voluntary settlement.  The suit seeks   monetary relief in the form of back pay and liquidated  damages, reinstatement, and an injunction against future discrimination and  retaliation.

"Systemic age discrimination is of great concern to the EEOC,  and we will do our job to eradicate it," said Katharine W. Kores, district director  of the EEOC's Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas,  Tennessee, and portions of Mississippi.   "Employers cannot discharge older workers based on discriminatory  stereotypes."

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment  discrimination.  Further information  about the EEOC is available on its web site at