Legal Staffing Company Rescinded Job Offer After Learning Attorney's Age and Banned Her for Complaining About Ageism, Federal Agency Charged
NEW YORK - Strategic Legal Solutions, a New York-based legal employment agency, has agreed to pay $85,000 and provide other significant relief to settle an age discrimination and retaliation lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
The EEOC charged in its suit that Strategic Legal Solutions discriminated against a 70-year-old attorney when it discovered her age and retaliated against her for raising concerns that she was rejected because of her age. According to the suit, Strategic Legal Solutions withdrew an offer for temporary work from the attorney shortly after learning of her date of birth. When the attorney asked whether the withdrawal of the offer was based on her age, the company told her she would be put on the "do not use" list.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits discrimination and retaliation against employees and applicants age 40 and over. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (EEOC v. Strategic Legal Resources, Inc. d/b/a Strategic Legal Solutions, Civil Action No. 14-CV-07762-VEC-GWG) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
Under the consent decree settling the suit, Strategic Legal Solutions will pay $85,000 to the victim and take steps to prevent future age discrimination and retaliation. These measures include implementing an anti-discrimination policy and providing annual training to all management and staff. In addition, Strategic Legal Solutions will post a notice regarding the case and report annually to the EEOC for a three-year period. Strategic Legal Solutions will also implement a training program called the Strategic Senior Counsel Program (SSCP). The SSCP will provide free training to attorneys age 60 and over on how to conduct document review using eDiscovery software and technologies. Anyone interested in participating may contact Nicole Brello, recruiting assistant with Strategic Legal Solutions, for further information at email@example.com, or call (212) 944-9112 ext. 207. SSCP training sessions will take place both at 110 East 42nd Street, New York City and in Novi, Mich., a suburb of Detroit.
"Age discrimination is a particular concern given the aging of the workforce," said the EEOC New York District Office's regional attorney, Robert D. Rose. "The EEOC will continue to vigorously litigate cases in which employees or applicants suffer discrimination or retaliation because of their age."
EEOC New York District Office Director Kevin Berry said, "Although the federal law prohibiting age discrimination was passed in 1967, discrimination against senior workers continues to impact the workforce."
EEOC Trial Attorney Kirsten Peters added, "It is my hope that the SSCP training program has a lasting impact and leaves the company's door wide open to older attorneys who are interested in contract employment."
Eliminating policies and practices that discourage or prohibit individuals from exercising their rights under employment discrimination statutes is one of six national priorities identified by the Commission's Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).
The New York District Office of the EEOC oversees New York, Northern New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.