The city of North Richland Hills will pay $75,000 to a former employee to settle a suit claiming that the worker was forced to resign after being continually taunted that he was too old to do his job.
Robert Coffman brought the EEOC suit under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. In his 60s at the time, he worked for the city as a heating, ventilation and air conditioning specialist.
The lawsuit said city workers repeatedly ridiculed Coffman, saying he was too old to keep up, that he made too much money and that he should quit. After enduring the taunts for months, Coffman reported the harassment to his supervisor and to the city’s HR department.
The EEOC claimed the city failed to take corrective action and that the harassment increased until Coffman was forced to resign.
The settlement came as part of a consent decree that also required the city to provide training on equal employment opportunity policies and procedures, and post notices about equal employment opportunity and age discrimination.
According to city spokeswoman Mary Peters, North Richland Hills did not admit or deny any wrongdoing. Peters stated that settling the lawsuit “was the most cost-effective thing to do.”
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