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A Texas CBS Corp. division will pay a $215,000 settlement to a freelance traffic reporter who was rejected for a staff position in favor of a much younger applicant, a former NFL cheerleader, in an age discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The EEOC said Tammy Dombeck Campbell, who had worked for CBS 11 in the Dallas/Fort Worth area as a freelance non-staff traffic reporter, applied for the position when the station’s morning full-time traffic reporter resigned in October 2014.
Although CBS 11’s job announcement said the ideal candidate would have at least five years’ professional broadcasting experience, it hired a 24-year old former NFL cheerleader for the position. Ms. Campbell was 42 at the time, according to the EEOC’s complaint in the case.
The station was charged with violating the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.
Under terms of the settlement, CBS Stations Group of Texas will pay $215,000 to Ms. Campbell and commit to not engage in age discrimination, among other provisions.
Joel Clark, EEOC senior trial attorney for the EEOC’s Dallas district office, said in a statement, “Tammy Campbell was clearly qualified for the position of traffic reporter. The EEOC argued to the court that CBS 11 preferred a younger, less qualified applicant, and that the employer defaulted to unfounded stereotypes about female reporters.”
CBS did not respond to a request for comment.
Employers need to be careful that their use of wearables for employees does not make them vulnerable to age discrimination complaints, experts say.