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Texas CBS Affiliate Settles Age Discrimination Suit

CBS has reached a settlement with the Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over allegations of age discrimination at its Dallas TV station KTVT Channel 11. The EEOC charged that CBS violated federal law when it refused to hire 42 year-old Tammy Dombeck Campbell for a full-time traffic reporter position at the Dallas/Fort Worth station because of her age.

The EEOC said that Campbell worked for CBS 11 as a freelance, non-staff traffic reporter. When the station’s full-time traffic reporter resigned in the fall of 2014, the company initiated a search for a replacement. The job posting indicated that “the ideal candidate” would have a strong knowledge of local traffic in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and that the “applicant must have at least five years professional broadcasting experience.”

Campbell met the qualifications having more than five years of on-air experience and was knowledgeable about Dallas’ freeways and traffic patterns. Instead, CBS gave the job to a 24-year-old former NFL cheerleader who the EEOC maintained did not meet the hiring criteria CBS had advertised. In addition, the station also had made an offer to a 27-year old applicant who accepted and then withdrew from the hiring process.

CBS’ Dallas stations entered into a consent decree that forbids discrimination or retaliation against people who speak out against any unlawful practices. CBS also agreed to pay Campbell $215,000 for “backpay and all other damages,” and the company will also provide training on the ADEA, publish a notice of employee rights, and report to the EEOC on its compliance with the requirements of consent decree.