By Jonathan Stemple
(Reuters) – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Eli Lilly (NYSE: NYSE) on Monday, accusing the drugmaker of refusing to hire older workers for sales representative jobs because of their age. The complaint said Lilly’s abuses began after Stephen Fry, her senior vice president of human resources and diversity, lamented during “Leadership Hall” in April 2017 that her sales force was skewed toward older workers, with “Millennials” 20% lower. from the Americans. Man power.
According to the EEOC, Frey suggested that a shortage of millennials is a problem, and that the Indianapolis-based company will target 40% of “career early” hiring.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said managers then changed their hiring practices for salespeople, sometimes requiring further review and approval before making offers to older candidates, even after some realized the 40% target was illegal. She added that the goal remained until 2021.
In a statement, Lilly denied the charges and said she was “committed to promoting and promoting a culture of diversity and respect.”
The lawsuit filed in Indianapolis federal court accused Lilly of violating the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
It seeks to permanently enforce future discrimination, late pay and other disadvantages for people not hired because of their age, and improve the training of supervisors and managers.
“This case underscores the continuing need for the EEOC to break down barriers to employment” for older Americans as they work longer and in greater numbers, Robert Weisberg, the EEOC attorney who helped bring the case, said in a statement.
The best-selling nighttime product is Trulicity, a treatment for type 2 diabetes.
On August 11, Lilly said that Fry will retire at the end of 2022 after more than 35 years at the company.
The case is EEOC v. Lilly USA LLC, US District Court, Southern District of Indiana, No. 22-01882.