Advance Components, a Texas-based distributor of specialty fasteners, has agreed to pay $201,000 to a former sales manager who was fired because of his age, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently reported.
According to EEOC, Advance Components’ executive vice president (VP) and general manager made frequent ageist comments to a 64-year-old sales manager. The VP allegedly called the sales manager “old-fashioned” and touted his hiring motto: “30-30-30. Hire a 30-year-old with an IQ of 30 and pay him $30,000.” He reportedly said that outside sales were a young man’s game because young men were more “driven,” and that he wanted to “put young guys on the street.”
The day after the sales manager was fired, his position was filled by a man in his 30s.
In addition to paying the former manager, Advance Components agreed to train management in the “new math” of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 and enforce a written policy against age discrimination and retaliation.
Regarding the VP’s ‘30-30-30’ theory, EEOC Regional Attorney Robert Canino said, “We hope the message here is that a rule of thumb like that just doesn't add up to a good business practice.”