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Enterprise Rent-A-Car settles EEOC age discrimination case

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Enterprise Rent-A-Car Co. of Los Angeles L.L.C., which was charged with failing to hire management trainees who were over 40, has agreed to pay $425,000 to settle an age discrimination suit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The lawsuit was filed because the company's Burbank, California, office had not hired any job applicants over the age of 40 for a three-year period between 2008 and 2011 as management trainees, the EEOC said in its statement Tuesday. The car rental agency was charged with violating the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

The EEOC said the company, a unit of St. Louis-based Enterprise Holdings Inc., asserts the 10 job applicants in question were denied hire because of inadequate qualifications, and that it denies the Burbank office did anything wrong.

The company agreed to settle to avoid the time, effort and expense associated with further proceedings, the EEOC said. An Enterprise spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.

Under terms of the settlement, in addition to paying the $425,000, the company's Los Angeles metro region agreed to redistribute its antidiscrimination policy to all employees in the region, among other settlement provisions.

“Federal law requires that employers select the best qualified job candidates regardless of age,” said Rosa M. Viramontes, district director of the EEOC's Los Angeles District Office. “We are pleased that the local Enterprise Rent-A-Car office agreed to adopt measures to ensure that older job applicants enjoy equal employment opportunities going forward.”

Last year, a Dallas-based industrial supply company agreed to pay $210,000 to settle an EEOC lawsuit in which it was charged with telling an in-house recruiter to consider job candidates' ages.