According to reports, technology firm 3M recently agreed to a settlement to resolve a class-action lawsuit filed against by former employees, who allege it was guilty of discrimination.
The suit, filed on behalf of the 290 plaintiffs by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claims the Minnesota-based company laid off hundreds of workers over the age of 45 during several rounds of reductions in force between July 1, 2003 and December 31, 2006.
In the lawsuit, the EEOC alleges the company let many highly paid older workers go, which included any salaried worker up to the level of director, in order to save money. In addition, the agency claims 3M denied older workers leadership training and let many go to bring in younger employees.
As part of the settlement, 3M will pay $3 million as monetary relief to the plaintiffs. In addition, 3M will will implement a review process for termination decisions and will provide training on preventing age discrimination.
Officials from 3M also relayed the company will begin posting openings for positions it previously had not advertised, as a way to enable older workers to apply.
The case highlights the importance of avoiding discriminatory actions at all costs, lest a business enter an expensive professional liability lawsuit or face regulatory fines.