SIU, Md. training center settle age discrimination suit
The Seafarers International Union and its Piney Point, Md.-based Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education have agreed to pay the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission $625,000 to settle allegations of age discrimination.
In its lawsuit, the EEOC asserted that the Paul Hall Center and SIU refused to admit individuals at least 40 years old into the apprenticeship program, a violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).
EEOC charged that applicants who were at least 40 years old were sent letters advising them that they “must be between the ages of 18 and 25” to apply. In addition, admissions representatives coded the applications of many of the individuals over 40, specifically noting they were “too old.”
The lawsuit was resolved in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The union’s appeal challenged the validity of an EEOC regulation stating that apprenticeship programs are covered by the ADEA. On Jan. 7, the Appeals Court ruled in favor of the EEOC.
EEOC initially filed the suit on Sept. 30, 2002 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland after failing to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement with the union and training center, the EEOC said in a Nov. 15 statement.
According to a news report in the Nov. 16 Baltimore Sun, the $625,000 settlement will be distributed to as many as 40 people whose applications were rejected by the Paul Hall Center because of their age.