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PRESS RELEASE
4-15-16

Milpitas to Pay $140,000 to Settle EEOC Age Discrimination Suit

City Denied Qualified Applicants Employment Because of Age, Federal Agency Charged

SAN FRANCISCO - The City of Milpitas will pay $140,000 and provide other relief to settle an age discrimination lawsuit by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

EEOC's suit charged that the city failed to hire qualified applicants over age 50 who scored higher than the person selected in a three-person panel review of the candidates. Instead, the city hired a younger applicant, age 39, for the position of executive secretary to the city manager.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age. EEOC filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (EEOC v. City of Milpitas, Case No. 5:15-cv-04444) after an investigation by EEOC investigator Judy Furukawa and after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

The city denied the allegations, but, under the consent decree approved by U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte, agreed to pay $140,000 to three job applicants. In addition, the city will distribute revised age discrimination policies to all employees; implement a comprehensive procedure for reporting complaints; provide annual anti-discrimination training to all employees, managers and supervisors; and report any age discrimination complaints to EEOC for two years.

"Older workers continue to face bias due to negative stereotypes," said San Francisco District Director William Tamayo. "We hope the positive changes implemented by the City of Milpitas under this consent decree will serve as a model for how to do business in Silicon Valley."

 EEOC Senior Trial Attorney Peter Laura added, "We are pleased that the City of Milpitas worked cooperatively with us to reach an amicable settlement and avoid, for all parties, the time and expense of continued litigation."

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