SUES MEMPHIS LIGHT, GAS & WATER FOR
Utility Provider Refused to Promote Employee
Because of Age, Federal Agency Charges
MEMPHIS, Tenn. –
Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW), a division of the City of
Memphis, violated federal law when it refused to promote an employee
because of his age, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed on February 28, 2014.
The EEOC’s suit alleges that MLGW refused to promote Carlos Phifer
to the position of computer operations specialist I because of his
age, then 57. According to the EEOC’s suit, Phifer applied for the
position and was the most qualified applicant. Phifer was
interviewed for the position, but MLGW ultimately awarded the
position to a younger, less qualified applicant.
Such alleged conduct violates the Age Discrimination in Employment
Act (ADEA). The EEOC filed suit (Civil Action No. 2:14-cv-02143) in
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, Western
Division after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement
through the conciliation process. The EEOC’s suit seeks monetary
relief in the form of back pay and liquidated damages, instatement,
and an injunction against future discrimination.
“Age discrimination is of great concern to the EEOC because older
workers continue to face negative stereotypes in the workplace,”
said Katharine W. Kores, district director of the EEOC’s Memphis
District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee,
and portions of Mississippi. “Employers cannot make decisions based
on discriminatory stereotypes and inaccurate assumptions based on
MLGW has approximately 2,500 employees. It is the nation’s largest
three-service municipal utility, serving more than 420,000 customers
in Shelby County, Tenn.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment
discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on
its web site at