According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Central Freight Lines has been ordered to pay settlements to eight dock workers to settle age discrimination lawsuits. Central Freight Lines, a Waco-based company, has terminals that it operates in both Fort Worth and Dallas. The lawsuit was brought against the company by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and alleged that Central Freight Lines targeted older workers for termination in violation of federal law. Federal law prohibits discrimination against people aged above forty.
The EEOC said that these men were fired during a reduction in force, which was simply a smoke screen that allowed the company to terminate the employees that had been with the company for at least twenty years and were fifty years old or older. The lawsuit alleged that the terminated employees were replaced with younger hires. The suit also accused Central Freight Lines of changing company policies in order to secure infractions against the older men and then fire them.
Central Freight Lines, however, is still denying any wrongdoing. In a statement from the company, Central Freight Lines accused the EEOC of trying to “paint Central Freight in a negative light.” While firing these employees may have saved Central Freight Lines money in the short term, the company is likely regretting its decision to discriminate against the older employees now.