The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Meathead Movers, a moving company based in Fresno, California, for age discrimination against older people. The moving company shows off clean-cut chiseled student athletes pumping iron moving furniture in its advertising. The company’s social medial shows young employees pumping iron before grabbing furniture and some trucks for the company are stamped with “student athlete movers.”
Employees also compete in “Meathead Olympics” in which they competed to assemble and leap over boxes. Meathead also sponsors wrestling tournaments. Meathead denies the allegations and claims the company will hire anyone, but that few older workers want to move boxes up and down stairs.
The EEOC began investigating Meathead Movers in 2017. The investigation was initiated by the EEOC itself and not by an employee complaint. The agency typically investigates companies after an employee complaint. Meathead attempted to settle the lawsuit. To date, the case is still ongoing. In September 2023, the EEOC also sued the Florida branch of Enterprise Rent-A-Car for allegedly not hiring enough older workers to its management-training program.
Word Of Mouth Is a Fine Way of Recruit Employees
The EEOC bizarrely believes that word of mouth is not a good method of hiring an employee. Nicole Germain, a spokeswoman for the agency has stated “Word-of-mouth is never a good way to recruit.” The EEOC claims that Meathead recruiters go to local gyms and colleges to find new hires and that such hiring practices discourages older workers from applying.
On its face, these allegations are absurd. Older people visit gyms as well as younger persons. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson probably works out at the gym even though he is over 50. Moreover, the world runs on word-of-mouth. Career networking is people meeting up and discussing common career interests. Many companies offer hiring incentives to their employees if an employee refers a friend or family member. Many older people will hire or offer their children to work at their organization. Furthermore, the EEOC’s purpose is to regulate illegal discrimination, not to comment on the best recruiting practices.
Age Discrimination Laws Are Inherently Unequal As Written
Age discrimination laws only protect older Americans, which are legally defined as age 40 and older. However, there are no laws protecting younger people though younger people need protection more. Employers can reject an applicant for being too young or inexperienced with few or no repercussions. While older Americans are concerned they will soon be pushed out of the labor market, many of them already have established careers, children or grandchildren to take care of them, and should have assets and retirement funds as they approach their golden years. Young people need job opportunities to get started on the life milestones that older American already have.
The law permits some discrimination based on the nature of the job. For instance, an airline doesn’t have to hire a blind person. Conversely, a movie studio may hire Chinese actors only if
the movie takes place in ancient China, or only take auditions from tall white men if the movie is a documentary about President Lincoln. Physical movers require physical motion. This is a job that requires peak physical condition so that the employee can avoid injury and the customer avoids property damage. A moving company should not be hiring frail 75 year old women for the safety of both employee and customers.
The EEOC is wildly off the mark with this case against Meathead and similar companies. There is nothing wrong with hiring healthy young strong people to move furniture around. It’s likely that the customers are older people who need help moving and probably expect some healthy young strong people to help them. Age discrimination in the moving industry is not a real issue that the EEOC should concern itself with.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Age Discrimination Claims?
It may be helpful to consult with a discrimination lawyer if you have any issues, questions, or concerns related to age discrimination. Your attorney can help you determine whether age discrimination occurred, assist you with filing a claim with the proper agency, and file a lawsuit, if it becomes necessary. Conversely, if your business is being sued for age discrimination, a skilled discrimination attorney can represent you in court and help defend you from the lawsuit.
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