Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Major Government Contractor Discriminated Against Older Job Applicants

Rachel Acenas
By Rachel Acenas
June 12, 2024US News
Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Major Government Contractor Discriminated Against Older Job Applicants
A display of guided missile mock-ups by the Raytheon Company are displayed at the Air Force Association (AFA) 2007 Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition and Global Air Chiefs Conference in Washington on Sept. 25, 2007. (Tim Sloan/AFP via Getty Images)

Major government contractor RTX, formerly known as Raytheon, has been accused of age discrimination in a new class action lawsuit filed on Tuesday.

The lawsuit was filed by two law firms and the nonprofit advocacy group AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) Foundation in Massachusetts federal court.

The lawsuit alleges that the aerospace and defense company discriminated against older applicants in its job listings. The plaintiffs are seeking relief for older applicants that were categorically excluded from job opportunities since 2018. They also want to see a change in the company’s hiring policy.

The lawsuit asserts that many RTX (Raytheon) job ads have strategically used phrases specifically designed to recruit younger employees. This includes words such as “new college graduate,” “recent graduate,” or “new graduate.”

Some positions have also stated that job applicants must have less than 12 or 24 months of relevant work experience, according to the complaint.

Hiring young applicants through a deliberately worded recruitment campaign violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Act, and the Virginia Human Rights Act, the lawsuit states.

“Americans are living and working longer than ever, yet unfair and discriminatory hiring practices are keeping older workers from jobs they’re qualified for,” said William Alvarado Rivera, senior vice president for Litigation at AARP Foundation, in a statement.

“Raytheon’s intentional discrimination against experienced job candidates, simply because of their age, is illegal and unacceptable,” Mr. Rivera added.

RTX (Raytheon) said in a statement to NTD News that the allegations are false.

“RTX complies with all relevant age discrimination laws and we’re committed to maintaining a diverse workforce. We believe these claims are entirely without merit and we will actively defend our hiring practices,” the company stated.

A Workplace Notice on its website states that the company is an equal opportunity employer and that all applicants will be considered regardless of factors such as age.

The company also has a section that boasts its hiring of new college graduates.

“We hire thousands of college graduates each year – and every single new hire can launch their career by jumping in to solve real customer challenges,” according to the official company site.

It also promotes internship and co-op programs and notes a “bonus” that “many positions offer the potential opportunity to convert to full-time employment upon graduation,” according to the site.

Furthermore, RTX’s former global head of talent acquisition announced in May 2023 that about 25 percent of all new hires were new or recent college graduates, according to the AARP.

The new legal action against RTX was launched by Mark Goldstein, 67, on behalf of similar individuals who claim they were denied jobs or deterred from applying at RTX (Raytheon).

Mr. Goldstein applied for at least seven positions between 2019 through 2023, according to the complaint. He met all the requirements of the positions, except he was not a recent college graduate and had decades of relevant work experience. He was even committed to relocating, the complaint states.

RTX is one of the largest aerospace and defense companies in the world. It changed its name from Raytheon last year. It was headquartered in Massachusetts before relocating to Virginia in 2022.