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Virginia Man Sues Raytheon for Age Discrimination, Seeks Class Action Status

TL;DR intro

  • Age Discrimination Lawsuit:A 67-year-old Virginia man has filed a lawsuit against Raytheon for age discrimination, alleging the company favors recent college graduates over older workers.
  • Potential Class Action:The AARP Foundation is seeking class action status for the lawsuit, potentially involving tens of thousands of older job seekers.
  • EEOC Finding:The lawsuit follows a 2021 EEOC finding that Raytheon's hiring practices violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.

A 67-year-old Virginia man has sued Raytheon, alleging age discrimination in the company's hiring practices. The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in U.S. District Court, claims the aerospace giant illegally favors recent college graduates over older workers. The AARP Foundation, the charitable wing of the national advocacy group for older adults, filed the case on behalf of Mark Goldstein and is seeking to make the lawsuit a class action on behalf of other potential plaintiffs.

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Mark Goldstein, who has around 40 years of experience in project management, cybersecurity, tech, and other relevant areas, claims that despite meeting all job requirements, he was never offered an interview due to his age. Goldstein has applied to numerous positions at Raytheon since 2019, but the company allegedly favored younger applicants, using phrases like “recent college graduate” or “new graduate” in job listings and requiring applicants to have graduated within the past one or two years.

The complaint alleges that Raytheon's hiring practices discriminate against older workers by setting age-related criteria that favor recent graduates. This practice, the lawsuit claims, violates the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Act, and the Virginia Human Rights Act. The AARP Foundation is spearheading the lawsuit, highlighting the systemic nature of age discrimination in the company's hiring process.

Raytheon's Response

Chris Johnson, a spokesperson for RTX Corporation, which owns Raytheon, stated that the claims are “entirely without merit” and emphasized that the company “complies with all relevant age discrimination laws.” Johnson added that Raytheon is committed to maintaining a diverse workforce and will actively defend its hiring practices.

The AARP Foundation is pushing for the lawsuit to achieve class action status, which could include tens of thousands of older Americans who may have been deterred from applying to Raytheon due to age-related job criteria. Peter Romer-Friedman, a public interest lawyer representing Goldstein, stated that this is the first of several similar class-action suits his firm intends to file against employers for age discrimination.

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EEOC Findings

The lawsuit follows a 2021 finding by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that Raytheon's hiring practices violated the ADEA. The EEOC's investigation revealed that Raytheon's job advertisements indicated a preference for younger workers, thereby discriminating against older applicants. In response, Raytheon tweaked its job postings but, according to Romer-Friedman, the changes were superficial and did not address the underlying discrimination.

William Rivera, senior vice president of litigation at the AARP Foundation, highlighted the broader issue of age discrimination in the tech industry and other sectors. He noted that many older workers face significant barriers in their job searches due to discriminatory hiring practices that favor “youthful, energetic and agile” employees.

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As the case progresses, it may set a precedent for other older workers facing similar discrimination, potentially leading to broader changes in how companies approach hiring and diversity.

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