Tepro to pay $600,000 for ‘promotions’ that led to layoffs

flat tireTepro, Inc., a manufacturer of rubber products for the automotive industry, will pay $600,000 to settle a 2012 class age discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Tepro reclassified 25 employees aged 40 and above from “Tech II” to “Tech III” positions, causing them to suffer a loss of seniority and then to be laid off. The EEOC alleges Tepro, which is located in Winchester, TN, accomplished the reclassifications through the use of misrepresentations, coercion, or threats.

The EEOC states the two-year consent decree ending the case also requires Tepro to:

  • Develop new lay-offs and age discrimination policies; 
  • Provide annual training on age discrimination to all employees, capped with an appearance by a high-level executive who will announce Tepro’s age discrimination policy and the consequences for violating such policy;
  • Submit to monitoring and review by the EEOC to insure compliance with the consent decree; and
  • Post a notice of the resolution of the lawsuit in the workplace.

“Congress passed the ADEA to ensure that older workers could be employed based on their ability rather than age and ‘to prohibit arbitrary age discrimination in employment,'” said Faye A. Williams, regional attorney for EEOC’s Memphis District Office. 

TEPRO is a  subsidiary of the Kinugawa Rubber Industrial Co., a Japanese manufacturer of automotive parts with overseas facilities.  TEPRO supplies automotive parts for various automobile manufacturers. 

The case is EEOC v. Tepro, Inc., Civil Action No. 4:12-cv-00075.

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