The Montrose-based shuttle service company Telluride Express has been sued for alleged age discrimination.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission contends San Miguel Mountain Ventures LLC, which does business as Telluride Express, violated federal law by refusing to hire a 79-year-old applicant, despite his qualifications, because the company’s auto insurance policy did not cover shuttle drivers 75 and older.
The EEOC in a Wednesday announcement said the applicant, Chester Webber, met all qualifications required of younger drivers and had passed a recent Department of Transportation medical exam; plus, he was accident- and traffic-violation free. Since Telluride Express declined to hire him, Webber has worked as a driver with no accidents or citations, the EEOC’s announcement says.
The EEOC alleges the company violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act by extending an application to Webber in 2015 and then refusing it the next day because of its auto insurance provisions.
After a settlement attempt, the EEOC sued on Tuesday for monetary damages for Webber, as well as for an order barring Telluride Express from further age discrimination.
“The ADEA clearly prohibits refusing to hire a qualified candidate because of his age,” said Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill of the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office, in the announcement of the action.
“Job seekers should be evaluated based on their qualifications, not their age.”