Appeals Court Affirms $424,000 Judgment against Autozone for Age Discrimination
On February 19, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed a $424,000 judgment against Autozone for a violation of the Age Discrimination Act.
The case was brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of a parts sales manager who was required to mop floors, even though it aggravated his back and caused him intense pain.
The Age Discrimination Act requires employers to make reasonable accommodations if they are aware of known physical limitations of employees with disabilities. Since mopping was a non-essential job duty that could easily have been transferred to another employee, the appeals court affirmed the judgment, while also noting the plaintiff was told by his store manager that he could ‘sell ice cubes to an Eskimo.’ Of the $424,000 in damages, $200,000 was awarded in punitive damages. The court upheld that award concluding that Autozone’s conduct was sufficiently reprehensible to justify imposing punitive damages.
If you or someone you know has been subject to age discrimination, please contact the attorneys of Khorrami, LLP for a confidential consultation to discuss your possible claims.