Eli Lilly Sued by EEOC for Alleged Millennials Bias

Libby Vish, Esq. | VP, Business Development

AdobeStock_125404543On Tuesday, September 26, 2022, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) filed a complaint against Lilly USA, LLC (“Lilly”) alleging age discrimination in violation of the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (“ADEA”) in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Lilly USA is the parent company of Eli Lilly, a U.S.-based pharmaceutical company.

According to the complaint, the ADEA “prohibits discrimination against applicants and workers age 40 and over.” The complaint states that it was filed to “correct unlawful employment practices on the basis of age and to provide appropriate relief for a class of individuals who were denied employment because of their age.”

Specifically, the EEOC alleges a Lilly Human Resources executive presented Lilly’s 2017 People Strategy with a stated goal of increasing the percentage of Millennials in Lilly’s workforce. The complaint continues its allegation that hiring practices at Lilly were modified to give preference to younger candidates for sales representative positions. The complaint alleges one example of the practices required additional levels of approval for older candidates to be hired. The complaint also states that “even after Lilly managers recognized” the practice as “unlawful age discrimination,” the practices continued until 2021.

The EEOC is seeking “damages including back pay and liquidated damages for the class” and injunctive relief.

The EEOC is represented in-house by Chelsae Johansen Ford.

The case is EEOC v. Lilly USA LLC, case number 1:22-cv-01882, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division.

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