Meathead Movers is a moving company in California that was sued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) because it allegedly refused to hire workers because of their age. A story from the Wall Street Journal says the lawsuit was filed after the two sides failed to settle.
The EEOC said in a news release this fall that “since at least 2017, Meathead Movers has failed to recruit and hire applicants over 40 for moving, packing, and customer service jobs.” Without regard to their skills, Meathead has a pattern or practice of choosing young college students and purposely excluding older workers.
The Journal says that the EEOC started looking into Meathead Movers in 2017 on its own, not because someone made a complaint. The study was mostly about how the company markets itself and hires people, which the EEOC says turns away older workers. As the two sides tried to agree, emails were seen by the outlet. the content shows that the EEOC first asked for $15 million in damages but later lowered that amount to $5 million, and Meathead offered $750,000 to settle.
In its disagreement with the EEOC, Meathead has said it did nothing wrong. The company’s moving trucks have the phrase “student-athlete movers” on them, and in social media posts, workers can be seen lifting weights before going to work. There are also private Meathead Olympics and a wrestling tournament put on by the company. A business owner named Aaron Steed told the Journal, “We are ready to hire anyone at any age if they can do the job.” The people who work at Meathead either love it or don’t want to do it because it’s too hard. You need to move things around and run to get more.
As a moving company that hires a lot of college players, we didn’t think we were breaking any rules. “We want to grow and change, but we can’t agree that it will put us out of business,” Steed said.
The EEOC’s legal battle with Meathead Movers could mean that the agency will take more legal action and lawsuits against businesses and programs that try to hire younger workers, like college students. Some businesses may decide to change their names to avoid legal problems.
The Journal was told by a similar moving business called College Hunks Hauling Junk that “Hunks” stands for “Honest. Uniformed. Nice. Knowledgeable. Service” and has “nothing to do with targeting a college audience.”
President Biden chose Charlotte Burrows to be Chair of the EEOC. In May of this year, to honor Older Americans Month, she wrote a message saying that the agency would “redouble our efforts” to deal with problems older Americans face in the workplace. An AARP poll found that almost two-thirds of older Americans think age discrimination is common in the workplace. This was mentioned in her message.
“Employers who think older workers are less skilled than younger ones don’t care about the law or the evidence that says the opposite.” “Not only are older workers important to most workplaces, they are also important to the economy,” she said. “If you don’t let someone work, you’re also keeping them from being independent and happy.” It will be the EEOC’s continued mission to fight age discrimination and make sure that all workers have the chance to add to the economy and have equal employment opportunities at work.