civil litigation blog

3M to Pay $12 Million to Settle Age Discrimination Lawsuit

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

3M Company has agreed to pay $12 million to settle an age discrimination lawsuit.  The settlement will resolve the claims of as many as 7,000 members in the class-action lawsuit.  According to 3M, the settlement absolves the company of all liability.  The company says that it has reached the deal to eliminate this distraction, and control its mounting legal fees.

The plaintiffs are all employees of 3M in Minnesota, and claim that the company had a policy of systematic discrimination against persons aged above 46 years old.  The discrimination lasted between 2001 and 2005.  According to the lawsuit, management at the company believed older workers to be less willing or able to apply new business methodologies in their duties.   Older workers at 3M were often denigrated.  Further, the lawsuit claims that younger employees were frequently favored for training that could have resulted in promotions.

The class-action age discrimination lawsuit was filed in 2004.

This is the second time that 3M has reached a settlement in a lawsuit alleging age discrimination.  The company had reached a settlement in a separate lawsuit that had been filed back in 2009.

As the number of older Americans heading back into the workforce increases, California employment attorneys have been noticing more and more complaints alleging age discrimination in the workplace.  There are some industries that seem to have a much higher rate of such age bias complaints, like the tech industry.  Older workers in this industry have often felt that they are a prime target of bias, including lack of training opportunities, dismissive comments, jokes, and other forms of discrimination.  Last year, Google suffered a setback when a court allowed an age discrimination lawsuit against the company to proceed.  However, the rest of American industry has also not been left unaffected by growing complaints of bias by senior workers.