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EEOC Initiates Two Age Discrimination and One Gender Identity Suits

At the end of March, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed three lawsuits that alleged age or gender identity discrimination.

In the EEOC suit against T.C. Wheelers Bar & Pizzeria (TC Wheelers), the commission alleges a company owner harassed employee Quinn J. Gambino, a transgender male. The owner purportedly told Gambino that he was not a "real man" and asked personal questions about Gambino's transition, including whether Gambino had "female parts." The lawsuit also asserts management deliberately misgendered Gambino using female pronouns and tacitly approved employees and customers doing the same. Gambino complained about the conduct, but TC Wheelers did not address it. The EEOC's lawsuit is the first since 2017 and was filed just one day before the Transgender Day of Visibility. 

In the first of the EEOC's age discrimination suits, it claims J&M Industries, Inc. fired an employee because she refused to retire after turning 65. The manufacturing and distribution company allegedly asked the employee, "When are you going to retire?"; Why don't you retire at 65?"; and "What is the reason you are not retiring?" The employee responded that she did not intend to retire, and the company notified her it was eliminating her position. However, the company allegedly hired a younger employee for the same job less than a month later.

In the second age discrimination suit, the EEOC claims Exact Sciences Laboratories, LLC, which manufactures the Cologuard colon cancer screening test, discriminated against John Larkin, a job applicant, based on his age. The applicant interviewed for a medical sales representative position. He was qualified for the job. After the interview, the recruiting consultant told Larkin the company wanted "more junior" applicants. Exact Sciences purportedly hired a younger person for the position and allegedly paid this individual more than the amount it claimed caused it not to hire Larkin.