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Seagram Reaches $2.1 Million Settlement in Age Bias Case

September 10, 1988

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Friday a $2.1 million settlement of a nationwide age discrimination lawsuit against Joseph E. Seagram & Sons.

Under the agreement, New York-based Seagram, a major manufacturer and distributor of alcoholic beverages, will pay the money into an escrow account to compensate employees allegedly terminated in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

An EEOC statement said an estimated 59 individuals would be affected by the settlement, involving employees age 40 and older who were terminated in a February 1985 corporate reorganization.

The agreement resolves a lawsuit filed by the EEOC last March in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Fla.

The suit alleged that Seagram’s 1985 reduction in its work force violated the age discrimination statute when the company disproportionately fired individuals age 40 and older in sales, administrative and clerical positions.

Awards for each eligible claimant will be based on a formula taking into account net pay lost from February 1985 through June 1988, additional pay from July 1988 through June 1989 and a pension enhancement, the EEOC said.

A Seagram statement said the consent decree ″involved no finding of violation of law by Seagram or liability to any former employee and was made to avoid further expense in connection with an EEOC investigation begun more than three years ago.″

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