Tech giant loses age discrimination case

$3 million to several hundred former employees who accused the company of age discrimination, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said Monday.  

  The EEOC sued 3M (MMM) in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis on behalf of a class of former employees who said the company laid off hundreds of workers over the age of 45 from July 1, 2003, to Dec. 31, 2006. The lawsuit alleged 3M terminated many highly paid older employees and directed leadership training to younger workers. The agency said its investigation found an employee email describing then-CEO Jim McNerney’s “vision for leadership development” as “we should be developing 30 year olds with General Manager potential.” This case is an interesting one to have followed, especially in the present day where discrimination is ever more of an issue. With debates raging over exactly how, legally, employers can and can not choose between job applicants, there are sure to be many more cases in the future similar to this one. For example, with social media background checks becoming ever more prominent, surely there are indeed characteristics of an individual that cannot be ignored? If a potential employer were to check an applicants Facebook page, they could find information such as age, race, religion, sexuality, hobbies – all of which can be unfairly and illegally used as a basis for discrimination. “The law requires employers to base employment decisions upon each person’s strengths and talents instead of relying upon generalized assumptions,” said the EEOC’s Michael Baldonado. As an employer it is vital to know exactly what information you are legally allowed to know about an applicant, in order to make your hiring decisions. If you would like to learn more, get in touch with Mind Your Business – we can help you with all your employment screening needs.]]>

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