2013 was a rough year for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
First there was the sequester, which cut the agency’s budget by 5 percent and forced the agency to furlough employees for up to 40 hours. Then there was the 16-day government shutdown, during which only 5 percent of the EEOC’s employees were allowed to work, making it impossible for its lawyers there to review claims, litigate them or mediate them.
Even so, the EEOC recovered more money for victims of workplace discrimination — including age discrimination — than ever before.
Perhaps because the number of older Americans in the workforce is increasing (and perhaps because more and more workers are aware of their legal rights), the number of age discrimination claims filed with the EEOC has increased by almost 70 percent over the past 15 years. What’s more, monetary benefits to victims have doubled in that period — and that’s not even counting amounts recovered through litigation.
Just yesterday, the EEOC filed charges against the police department in Maui, Hawaii, for refusing to hire a candidate because of his age (45 at the time). A few weeks ago, it settled an age-discrimination case against Ruby Tuesday, the national restaurant chain.
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