Posted On: July 14, 2009 by Peter M. LaSorsa

California Teacher Awarded $65,000 Plus Benefits In Age Discrimination Lawsuit

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") settled its age-discrimination lawsuit on behalf of Lawford Goddard, a former teacher at Bay Area Colleges. Goddard applied for an assistant professor's position at San Francisco State, where he had been a part-time lecturer since 1989. He had been teaching at Bay Area colleges since earning his doctorate from Stanford in 1976. A faculty committee placed him among three finalists for the job, but the school's dean chose another candidate.

In its lawsuit, the EEOC alleged the dean told the screening committee he wanted "fresh blood and new ideas" and had made comments about getting rid of "old '60s hippies" faculty members. The lawsuit claimed Goddard was more qualified than the winning candidate for the $65,000-a-year job and had been rejected because of his age, with amounted to age discrimination.

The university denied discriminating and said it had chosen a candidate who was more accomplished in his writings, had a superior overall record and had performed superbly since his hiring. The settlement contains no admission of wrongdoing.

Goddard, who retired in 2004, will get the same benefits as retired teachers with tenure as part of the settlement. The university system also agreed to train its managers on prevention of age discrimination in hiring.

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