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Raytheon in Massachusetts Faces Age Discrimination Lawsuit from Former Employee

On June 11th, 2024, NBC Boston reported that the RTX Corporation—the Northern Virginia-based defense contractor formerly known as Raytheon—is facing an age discrimination lawsuit from a former employee. Notably, the claim is a proposed class action lawsuit. Here, our Massachusetts workplace discrimination lawyer provides an overview of the age discrimination claim and explains your rights under Commonwealth law. 

Allegations: Age-Based Discrimination By Defense Contractor

As reported by NBC Boston, the RTX Corporation (Raytheon) is facing an age discrimination lawsuit. According to the allegations raised within the workplace discrimination claim, the company is allegedly discriminating against older workers by tailoring job ads towards younger applicants and, in the process, violated multiple age discrimination laws. It is a federal lawsuit which has been brought by the AARP Foundation and its legal representative. The workplace discrimination complaint was filed in a federal courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Notably, the AARP Foundation contends that the RTX Corporation used job posting ads that specified its preferences for recent graduates and other people with minimal experience. In doing so, the AARP Foundation argues that the large employer improperly excluded or deterred older job seekers. The named plaintiff, Mark Goldstein, asserts that such biased hiring practices have prevented him from obtaining employment at the RTX Corporation, despite being qualified and filing several applications since over the past several years. The claim is being pursued as a proposed class action lawsuit. 

Federal and State Laws Protect Workers Against Age Discrimination

Are you a worker in Massachusetts who is in your 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, or 70’s? There are federal and state anti-age discrimination laws that may apply to your specific situation. It is imperative that you know your rights. Here is an overview of the law: 

  • Federal Age Discrimination Law: The primary federal law that protects job applicants and employees against age-based discrimination is Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967. Notably, it protects employees and job applicants who are 40 years of age or older from discrimination in hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, or terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. The ADEA applies to employers with 20 or more employees, including federal, state, and local government agencies. 
  • Massachusetts Age Discrimination Law: Massachusetts law provides more comprehensive protection. Indeed, Commonwealth law prohibits age discrimination under the Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Act. The state-specific regulation extends protections against age bias to all aspects of employment, including hiring, firing, promotion, and compensation. Notably, it applies to employers with 6 or more employees. The law empowers the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) to enforce anti-discrimination protections. 

Proving that Failure to Hire is Age-Based Discrimination

How do you prove that a failure to hire is based on age discrimination? It can be challenging. To start, the claimant (job candidate must establish eligibility for protection under relevant age discrimination laws, such as being 40 years or older (40 years of age under both federal law and Massachusetts law). Next, the candidate must demonstrate conclusively that he or she applied for a position but was not hired, despite meeting the necessary qualifications for the job. 

Once the foundation is set, you get to the core of an age discrimination claim: Proving that age was a factor in the hiring decision. Evidence is key. In some cases, age discrimination can be established by direct evidence—such as discriminatory remarks. Though, in far more cases, circumstantial evidence is used to help support the claim. For instance, if a pattern emerges where a significantly younger workforce is favored or job advertisements explicitly seek “recent graduates” or specify an upper experience limit, these can suggest that age discrimination may have been a factor. 

Notably, the same anti-age discrimination protections that apply to fail to hire cases also apply to failure to promote cases. The failure to hire a candidate is an adverse action that could potentially give rise to a workplace discrimination claim. The failure to promote an internal candidate is also an adverse action that could potentially be the basis of a claim, including an age discrimination claim.  

When Can an Employment Law Claim Be Certified as a Class Action in Massachusetts?

The age discrimination claim filed against the RTX Corporation in a federal court in Boston is being pursued as a class action lawsuit. When can an employment law claim be handled through class action litigation in Massachusetts? There are certain legal criteria that must be met. The party seeking class action certification must prove each of the following four key points: 

  1. Numerosity: The class in question must be large enough that allowing the cases to be handled as individual lawsuits would be impractical and/or inefficient.
  2. Common Claims: There must be common questions of law or fact across the class members’ claims for them to act as a class. 
  3. Typicality: The claims or defenses of the representative must be typical of the class. 
  4. Adequacy: The representative(s) must fairly/adequately protect the interests of the class.

How the Massachusetts Employment Lawyers at Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore Can Help

Age discrimination cases are complex. As an older worker, you deserve access to fair and equal opportunities. Sadly, too many businesses and organizations fail to follow the law when recruiting and promoting. They may overlook qualified older job applicants and workers. At Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, LLC, we have extensive experience handling age discrimination claims. Our firm always puts the rights of employees first. We encourage you to review our client testimonials, our representative case results, and to reach out to us directly with any specific questions or concerns about an age discrimination claim in Massachusetts. 

Contact Our Massachusetts Workplace Discrimination Lawyer for a Confidential Case Review

At Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, LLC, our Massachusetts workplace discrimination attorneys put the rights and interests of clients first. If you or your loved one was the victim of age-based discrimination, we are here to help. Give us a phone call at (860) 522-8888 or contact us online to arrange your confidential initial appointment. With office locations in Northampton and Springfield, we provide age discrimination representation throughout all of Western Massachusetts.