(CN) – The EEOC filed an age discrimination class action against AT&T in Manhattan Federal Court. It accuses the telecommunications giant of discriminating against retired AT&T employees by denying them reemployment because they retired under early retirement plans.
The plans at issue include AT&T’s Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program and the Enhanced Pension and Retirement Program.
The EEOC says AT&T’s denial of reemployment to older workers, in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, has been going on since least Oct. 1, 2006.
“Federal law prohibits employers from instituting policies that adversely affect workers because of their age,” said Louis Graziano, an EEOC trial attorney. “AT&T’s policy has that effect.”
Dallas-based AT&T is the largest telecommunications company in the world by revenue, with more than $124 billion in 2008, according to company information. AT&T is eliminating 12,000 jobs this year through layoffs and attrition as it reduces its operating costs in response to the recession, according to the Wall Street Journal.