10 Oct 2012

EEOC still confident in age-discrimination case against American Samoa government

4:11 pm on 10 October 2012

The lead counsel in the age-discrimination lawsuit against the American Samoa government says there is still a strong case for a government-wide class action, despite a judgment limiting the scope of the case.

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit last year alleging the government had contravened the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

In June the government asked the court to restrict the scope of the Commission's case and on Friday a federal judge ruled that it should be confined to employees in the Department of Human Resources.

But the Commission's Carol Igoe says the judge's order also says if the Commission asks the court for permission to reopen its investigation, that the court would consider it.

She believes the Commission has a strong case.

"The people I met with really confirmed our understanding that this effective practice of pushing older workers to retire was not limited to the Department of Human Resources, but there were other people in other departments who also got that same understanding."

Carol Igoe says the Commission will make a decision within the next few weeks.