As employees are choosing to stick with their careers much longer than those in past generations, employer policies, procedures, and behaviors have become more scrutinized around the issue of age discrimination. While many organizations are committed to hiring, promoting and retaining older workers, some have elected to covertly remove them from their workforce. The following is such an example, resulting in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filing an age discrimination suit against AT&T on behalf of 53 year old Terry Pierce.
AT&T Corporate Statistic
American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) is one of the world’s largest communication companies. The company provides voice coverage in over 225 countries, data roaming in over 210 countries, and 3G coverage in over 170 countries (AT&T, 2015). In addition to telephone offerings the company provides Internet service and TV U-Verse to close to 15 million customers in 48 states (2015). They enjoyed a revenue stream of 128.8 billion dollars in 2013 (2015). Servicing their millions of customers is a global staff of 247,700 employees (2015). Recently, Standard and Poor’s (S&P) lowered AT&T’s rating from an A- to BBB+, stating that AT&T over bid the purchase of additional airwaves and if the purchase goes through the company would take on a large amount of debt to fulfill its obligations (Fox Business News, 2015).
Age Discrimination Lawsuit
In the fall of 2008, the EEOC filed suit against AT&T on behalf of Terry Pierce a Lee’s Summit, MO sales coach manager (McGuinness, 2013). Pierce had been employed with AT&T for over 16 years and had a proven high performing record throughout her employment (McGuinness, 2013). According to the EEOC, AT&T violated t...
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Age discrimination has been around for many decades and rears its ugly face every year in corporate America. AT&T was sued by Terry Pierce, because after 16 years of service at the age of 53, she was terminated but younger lower performing employees were retained. After comparison to other verdicts, the settlement offered to Pierce was in alignment with the inappropriate actions of the company. Further, to mitigate future claims, an organization should train the entire organization and its managers to be sensitive to covert discriminatory actions and take actions to divert them. Additionally, when operating in a multinational environment, it is important for the organization and its leaders to recognize the fundamental difference in each culture. In the end, corporate success depends upon operating within all legalities and environments.
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