Town of Elkton Will Pay $235,000 to Resolve EEOC Age Discrimination Lawsuit

BALTIMORE - The town of Elkton, Md., will pay $235,000 and furnish other relief to settle an age discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The EEOC alleged in its lawsuit that Elkton fired Andrew Johnson from his position as assistant town administrator/finance director because of his age, 70. Johnson's age was openly discussed as the reason for replacing him during meetings of town officials. One town commissioner said that Johnson was "in his 60s" and "no young chick" and suggested replacing him with a "young person out of college," the EEOC charged in its lawsuit. The town replaced him with two substantially younger employees, one as the assistant town administrator and the other as the finance director.

Such alleged conduct violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Northern Division, Civil Action No. ELH 10CV2541, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In addition to the $235,000 in monetary relief to Johnson, the three-and-one-half-year consent decree resolving the lawsuit enjoins the town of Elkton from further discriminating against employees and applicants based on age. The town must implement and distribute to all employees a policy prohibiting age discrimination and provide annual training for managers and employees on the ADEA and other federal equal employment opportunity laws. The town is also required to post a notice regarding the resolution of the lawsuit and report to the EEOC on its compliance with the consent decree.

"The record shows that this loyal and successful administrator was discarded simply because of his age," said Philadelphia District Director Spencer H. Lewis, Jr. "The EEOC will always fight this kind of outrageous and harmful bias by employers."

EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence added, "We are confident that this settlement, including the mandatory training, will protect Elkton's employees and applicants from age discrimination in the future."

The Philadelphia District Office of the EEOC oversees Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and parts of New Jersey and Ohio.