MADISON, Wis. — The federal government is suing the University of Wisconsin over allegations the school hired a 23-year old over a 53-year old former employee with 25 years of experience because of age discrimination.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin against the university. The EEOC says a 53-year old who was employed as a marketing and communications specialist at one of the university's campuses was about to be laid off from her job. She applied for several different positions within the university including a position which required nearly identical tasks to her marketing and communications position and which matched her 25 years of experience. Instead of hiring her, a 23-year old candidate with less than two years experience allegedly was given the position.
"Workers over 40 years of age should have the same opportunities as those workers less than half their age," EEOC Chicago District director Julianne Bowman said in a statement. "Ignoring a candidate's decades of experience relevant to the available job, because of her age, and to hire someone with less than two years of experience is illegal discrimination."
According to the lawsuit, the EEOC seeks back pay and liquidated damages for the complainant.