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PRESS RELEASE
6-21-10

Community College of Baltimore County to Pay $50,000 to Settle EEOC Age Discrimination Suit and Employee’s Retaliation Claims

College Refused to Hire 60-Year Old ESOL Advisor Based on Age, Agency Charged

BALTIMORE  – The Community College of Baltimore County will pay $50,000 and provide equitable relief to settle an age discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the employee’s retaliation lawsuit, the agency announced today.

The EEOC charged in its suit that the Community College of Baltimore County failed to hire Sheri Chosak as a part-time English as a Second Language (ESOL) academic advisor at its Owings Mills campus because she was 60 years old.  Chosak has worked for the college as a registration clerk since 2001 at its Owings Mills campus.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits employers from refusing to hire or promote individuals who are 40 or older because of age.  The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Northern District (Civil Action Number 1:08-cv-02563-CCB) after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement out of court through its conciliation process.

In addition to the monetary relief to Chosak, the consent decree settling the lawsuit enjoins the college from further engaging in any employment practice which discriminates on the basis of age, including failing to hire or promote applicants or employees based on age.  The college will provide at least two hours of mandatory training on preventing age discrimination and federal anti-discrimination laws to all managers at its Owings Mills campus.  The college will also post a notice on the resolution of the lawsuit.

“Employers who refuse to hire qualified applicants based on age not only forgo the opportunity to hire talented workers, they also risk having to defend themselves against an EEOC lawsuit,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence of the agency’s Philadelphia District Office, which oversees Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, Maryland and parts of New Jersey and Ohio.

In Fiscal Year 2009, age-based charges reached a total of 22,778, their second-highest level ever.

In July 2009, the EEOC held a public hearing on age discrimination and barriers to the employment of older workers. Additional information about the hearing can be found on the EEOC’s web site at http://www.eeoc.gov/abouteeoc/meetings/7-15-09/index.cfm.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.  Further information about the Commission is available at its web site at (www.eeoc.gov).