Gulfstream settles discrimination lawsuit for $2.1 million

Thursday, December 12, 2002

ATLANTA -- Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. will pay $2.1 million to settle age discrimination allegations made by 61 former employees, the federal government said Wednesday.

The workers, most of whom were company managers, accused Savannah-based Gulfstream, a subsidiary of General Dynamics Corp., of laying off people older than 40 and keeping younger, less qualified employees between August and December 2000.

They filed suit in U.S. District Court in Atlanta. A federal judge has preliminarily approved a consent decree settling the lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said.

Gulfstream denies discriminating against the employees, but agreed in the consent decree to train managers to be sensitive to equal-employment issues, the agency said.

"Companies that lay off older, more experienced workers in order to retain younger, less senior individuals are violating the law and running the risk of being sued for discrimination," said S. Robert Royal, an EEOC lawyer.

The agency warned that employers should not use downsizing as a means to eliminate older employees from their work force.

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