National Car Rental Company Sued for Age Discrimination in Florida
On September 11th, 2023, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced an age discrimination lawsuit against Enterprise Leasing Company of Florida, LLC, a company that operates many well-known rental car brands. The company is accused of intentionally failing to consider qualified older workers. Here, our Florida employment law firm provides an overview of the allegations raised and the standard for age discrimination under state and federal law.
Allegations: Company Refused to Hire Older Applicants for Management Trainee Positions
The EEOC filed a lawsuit against Enterprise Leasing Company of Florida, LLC—the company operates National, Enterprise, and Alamo in Florida—on the grounds that the company engaged in age-based discrimination against older job applicants. Specifically, the EEOC contends that the Enterprise Leasing Company refused to consider older applicants for management trainee positions. The EECO contends that the age discrimination was a widespread practice at the company, with fewer than two percent of management trainees being 40 years of age or older despite the fact that many more people in that age range applied for positions.
What Workers Need to Know About the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is a federal law that prohibits age-based discrimination against many older workers in Florida. Here are some of the key things that workers should know about the ADEA:
- Coverage: ADEA covers employers with 20 or more employees, including state and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies, labor organizations, and the federal government. Unfortunately, smaller employers in Florida are not covered by the ADEA.
- Protection: Workers and job applicants aged 40 and over are protected from discrimination in hiring, firing, promotion, layoff, compensation, benefits, job assignments, and training. Younger workers—such as a 39-year-old employee—are not covered by the ADEA. For workers that are covered, the age discrimination protections are comprehensive.
- Exceptions: There are some limited exceptions where age can be a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ). Here is one of the most straightforward examples: A large product company hiring a younger actor to play a young character in a movie is not violating the law. Age is a legitimate qualification for that specific position.
- Retaliation: It is unlawful for employers to retaliate against individuals for opposing practices made illegal by the ADEA or for filing an age discrimination complaint, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or litigation under the ADEA.
- Remedies: If you believe you have been discriminated against due to age, you can file a complaint with the EEOC. Among other things, the remedies for an age discrimination violation may include back pay, reinstatement, and other damages.
Get Help From an Age Discrimination Attorney in Florida
Every worker deserves fair treatment. You should be assessed based on your personal qualifications—not on stereotypes about your age. If you were subject to age discrimination in the workplace, please do not hesitate to contact a Florida employment lawyer for immediate legal help.