Age-Discrimination Lawsuit Settled with $2.4 Million Payment by Eli Lilly

Eli Lilly has reached an agreement to pay $2.4 million in order to settle an age-discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

According to the EEOC, Lilly rejected candidates for pharmaceutical sales representative positions as a result of its “Early Career” hiring initiative, which was in effect from 2017 to 2021. This initiative aimed to prioritize the hiring of millennials, consequently changing the company’s hiring preferences.

The EEOC asserted that Lilly’s alleged conduct violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

In response, Lilly stated, “Lilly is pleased to have resolved this dispute. Although we continue to deny the allegations in the complaint, we collaborated with the EEOC to reach a resolution. We remain committed to fostering a culture of diversity and respect at Lilly.”

Under the consent decree that resolves the case, compensation will be offered to individuals aged 40 or older who applied for primary care sales representative positions in the Lilly Diabetes Business Unit between 2017 and June 30, 2020.

Additionally, Lilly will provide equal employment opportunity training to specific managers and human resources personnel. Job applicants will be surveyed about their experiences regarding discrimination, and contracts with third-party recruiters will explicitly state that age is not a criterion for employment discrimination.

Evangeline Hawthorne, the EEOC Miami District Director, praised Lilly for engaging in collaborative efforts to resolve the lawsuit. Importantly, Lilly had voluntarily terminated its Early Career hiring program prior to the EEOC’s intervention.

Retrieved from The Wall Street Journal

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