The American Dental Association has agreed to pay $1.95 million in settlement damages after two charges of age discrimination were investigation by the Chicago District Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The settlement arose out of allegations made by Tamra Kempf and the ADA’s former director of HR. The New York City sexual harassment and employment discrimination attorneys of the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC, have years of experience litigating age discrimination cases, recovering millions of dollars for our clients.
At the conclusion of the EEOC investigation the commission found reasonable cause to believe the Ms. Kempf and the former HR director had been terminated in retaliation for complaining of age discrimination. This is not a straight forward case of age discrimination. Typically, charges of age discrimination are normally in the hiring or firing process. Often employers offer ridiculous severance and early retirement packages in an effort to entice older employees to leave so new, younger and often cheaper employees can replace them. Here, the central issue to the investigation was retaliation. Kempf and the former HR director were discharged after they complained of potential age discrimination. While the EEOC didn’t directly investigate the age discrimination claims, if an individual complains of possible discriminatory practices and is discharged as a result of their complaint, the employer is liable for retaliation.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 governs discrimination in the workplace. Under Title VII an individual has a claim for retaliation if they are fired after participating in a protected activity. Protected activities include making a complaint of discrimination based on a protected class. Once an individual makes a prima facie case for retaliation the burden shifts to the employer to provide a non-discriminatory basis for the firing. Here, the EEOC determined that the ADA could not provide a nondiscriminatory reason for firing these two employees.
The EEOC is an administrative agency vested with the authority of the federal government to investigate and bring charges of discrimination against employers. Generally, if the EEOC finds that there is probably caused that discrimination occurred then it pushes employers to mediation to settle the claims. While the EEOC has the power to bring suits to federal court, most major employers choose to settle before the case goes to Court. The EEOC has its own attorneys and investigators, but the commission often works in conjunction with local attorneys in order effectively litigate cases and ensure every individual is fully protected under the laws.
If you feel you have been the victim of workplace discrimination or sexual harassment in New York City, Miami, New Jersey or Philadelphia or if your employment rights have been violated, call us at 800-807-2209 for a free consultation to discuss your possible claim. Our attorneys are available to review your claims and prepare a solid case to recover the damages and justice you deserved.