Corpus Christi Company Denied 72-Year-Old Applicant a Position Because of Age, Federal Agency Charged
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Star Tex Gasoline & Oil Distributors, a wholesale supplier of diesel, fuels, gasoline, lubricants and oils based in Corpus Christi, will pay $10,000 and provide other equitable relief to settle an age discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
According to the EEOC’s suit, Star Tex refused to consider a former fire chief for employment after he received a referral for a truck driver position from Texas Workforce Solutions. The applicant had years of relevant work experience operating tankers, 18-wheel vehicles and emergency vehicles. Yet when he went to apply for work, the Star Tex hiring official who met with him was focused entirely on his age rather than his qualifications and experience, the EEOC said, and refused to consider him because of his age.
Such alleged conduct violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi Division (EEOC v. Star Tex Gasoline & Oil Distributors, Inc., Civil Action No. 2:11-CV-305) after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.
“We are pleased that Star Tex worked cooperatively with the EEOC to resolve this case,” said EEOC Trial Attorney David Rivela of the EEOC’s San Antonio Field Office. “Through the negotiated settlement process, we were able to forge a solution that protects the rights of older applicants.”
The two-year consent decree resolving this case, approved by U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos, requires Star Tex to adopt and implement an effective equal employment opportunity policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of age; provide training on the requirements of the ADEA to members of Star Tex’s management at its Corpus Christi facility; and pay $10,000 to the victim of the discrimination in this case.
“We commend the applicant for coming forward to ensure that other older drivers may continue to get the green light in the trucking industry,” said Robert A. Canino, regional attorney for the Dallas District Office of the EEOC. “Age should not be a roadblock for a qualified applicant.”
EEOC Supervisory Trial Attorney Judith G. Taylor added, “This is a favorable resolution for everyone. We are confident that Star Tex is now committed to complying with the ADEA and ensuring that all of its applicants and employees are treated fairly. Star Tex should be commended for taking the necessary steps to resolve this case.”
In fiscal year 2011, the EEOC received a total of 23,465 charges of age discrimination, which accounted for 23.4 percent of all charges filed with the EEOC nationwide.
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. Further information about the Commission is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.