This company’s executive VP landed the business in hot water — to the tune of a $201,000 fine — when he fired a 64-year-old national sales manager with nearly 20 years’ experience because he wanted to “put young guys on the street” who were more “driven.” He should’ve come to HR first for a little coaching.
The loose-lipped VP sealed the deal when he shared his motto: “30-30-30. Hire a 30-year-old with an IQ of 30 and pay him $30,000.”
When the unfortunate sales manager was fired, his job was filled the next day by a man in his 30s.
He turned to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to fight back, saying he was discriminated against because of his age.
Advance Components, his former employer, signed a consent agreement with the EEOC, admitting the company violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
The company was ordered to pay ex-sales manager Dan Miller a bit more than the suggested $30,000 — it was a total of $201,000. The company was ordered to implement age bias prevention measures as well.
“Older workers have the right to be evaluated based on their abilities and not their age,” said EEOC attorney William Backhaus. “Every employer, large and small, needs to recognize the importance of avoiding stereotypes, especially those about age and older workers.
“Advance Components wrongly assumed that Mr. Miller’s age, 64, interfered with his ability to connect with customers. It didn’t — we learned that he was their top producer and that customers loved him.”
The VP’s “30-30-30″ motto was criticized, too.
A rule of thumb like that, the court said, is a lousy business practice.