Country Club Unlawfully Subjected Groundskeeper to Seasonal Layoffs and Discharge Because of Age, Federal Agency Charged
PHILADELPHIA - Llanerch Country Club (LCC) of Havertown, Pa., has agreed to pay $30,000 in monetary relief and furnish significant equitable relief to settle an age discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
The EEOC charged that beginning in January 2013, LCC started treating the oldest groundskeeper in its grounds maintenance department differently than younger workers by laying him off for the winter season. The EEOC further charged that in December 2016, LLC temporarily laid off the groundskeeper, who was then 59 years old, for the winter, but later informed him that he would not be recalled or rehired to his position in spring 2017 because the country club was "looking to take the staff in a younger direction." Less than three weeks later, LCC hired nine other groundskeepers who were significantly younger, according to EEOC's lawsuit.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects individuals age 40 and over from employment discrimination because of their age, including discrimination in the terms or conditions or employment and in discharge and hiring decisions. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (EEOC v. Llanerch Country Club, Civil Action No. 2:18-cv-04167-JP) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The two-year consent decree resolving the EEOC's lawsuit has been approved and entered by the federal court. In addition to paying $30,000 in monetary relief to the groundskeeper, LCC is enjoined from engaging in age discrimination or retaliation. LLC has agreed to provide training on age discrimination and retaliation to it managerial employees, post a notice of employee rights under the ADEA, and report future complaints of age discrimination and retaliation to the EEOC.
"The contributions of workers age 40 and older are central to the vitality of our national economy and our local economy here in eastern Pennsylvania," said EEOC Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence of the agency's Philadelphia District Office. "The Age Discrimination in Employment Act was designed to protect those workers' rights and their vast contributions to the American workplace, and the EEOC will continue its efforts to safeguard those rights and contributions."
EEOC Philadelphia District Director Jamie Williamson added, "The EEOC is committed to ensuring that older workers are not treated unfairly based on age. We appreciate Llanerch Country Club working with us to resolve this case amicably and expeditiously."
The lawsuit was commenced by the EEOC's Philadelphia District Office, which has jurisdiction over Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Delaware and parts of New Jersey and Ohio. Attorneys in the Philadelphia District Office also prosecute discrimination cases in Washington, D.C. and parts of Virginia.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.