DSW Will Pay $900,000 Former Workers To Settle Age Discrimination Lawsuit

Shoe retailer DSW is on the line for $900,000 after agreeing to settle an age discrimination lawsuit brought by former employees, who said the company fired older workers just because of their ages. And if other employees refused to fire workers based on their age, the plaintiffs claimed DWS retaliated against them as well.

The Chicago District Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said DSW gave older workers the boot, reports the Chicago Tribune, including seven former managers and about 100 other former workers who joined in on the suit filed on Sept. 15.

Only one short week later, DSW said it’d agreed to pay those workers back $900,000, and will also report to the EEOC for three years to monitor any employee complaints of ageism. DSW also has to update its anti-discrimination policy.

The EEOC has had about 36% more charges filed under the Age Discrimination in Employment act than in 1997, with an uptick around the time of the recession. Many employers used that economic downturn to pass of age discrimination as layoffs, supervisory trial attorney Diane Smason told the Tribune.

“We see this often where it’s easy for employers to use a need for a reduction in force and financial problems as an easy excuse to let go of older workers,” Smason explained. “We think that’s what happened here at DSW.”

DSW to pay $900,000 over age discrimination accusations [Chicago Tribune]

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