AT&T has settled a lawsuit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) accusing it of age discrimination for refusing to rehire tens of thousands of workers who retired from the U.S. telephone company. It requires AT&T to end prohibitions against rehiring workers who left under retirement programs between 1998 and 2001 and one related to SBC Communications Inc’s 2005 purchase of the former AT&T Corp.
AT&T must update its databases to make sure former workers are not “blocked” from being rehired and certify annually in writing it is complying with the decree.
The EEOC accused AT&T of having no legitimate reason not to rehire workers who retired under the programs, a number it estimated as exceeding 50,000.
AT&T did not admit the allegations in the EEOC complaint, and maintained it had “legitimate and nondiscriminatory business reasons” for its earlier policy.
The EEOC brought the case for John Yates, who was fifty-seven years old when AT&T turned him down for employment.
The case is EEOC v. AT&T Inc et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 09-07323.