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News > Companies
Lockheed settles bias suit
November 22, 1996: 12:36 p.m. ET

Company to pay $13 million, rehire 450 in age discrimination case
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Lockheed Martin Corp. has agreed to pay $13 million and rehire 450 Martin Marietta Corp. employees to settle a lawsuit brought by older workers who were fired during a massive corporate restructuring.
     Ending one of the nation's biggest age discrimination cases ever filed, Lockheed reached the settlement late Thursday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, who filed the suit on behalf of 2,000 former workers. The case initially was brought against Martin Marietta, which has since merged with Lockheed.
     The commission filed the lawsuit in 1994, accusing Martin Marietta of targeting employees above the age of 40 for layoffs and forced retirements between 1990 and 1994. All 2,000 former employees worked at Martin Marietta's Colorado-based astronautics division.
     "This settlement underscores EEOC's commitment to upholding the job rights of older workers and ensuring nondiscrimination in corporate layoff and downsizing practices," EEOC Chairman Gilbert F. Casellas said at a news conference in Denver.
     The case must still receive formal approval from U.S. District Judge Wiley Y. Daniel. Daniel issued preliminary approval and scheduled a final hearing on March 5.
     As part of the deal, Lockheed admitted to breaking no laws or regulations and said it has long forbidden discrimination of any form. It also agreed to let the commission monitor employment practices over the next five years.
     While admitting no wrongdoing, Lockheed will pay out millions of dollars, rehire some workers and provide job placement and training to others. The company said more than 200 employees have already returned.Back to top
    -- David Rynecki

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