Chanhassen company settles hiring-bias lawsuit for $1M

A Chanhassen medical device company will pay more than $1 million to settle allegations it discriminated against job applicants based on their age and gender.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleged PMT Corp. of Chanhassen hired 70 sales reps from 2007 to 2010 but none was female or over the age of 40.

Nick Pladson, an attorney at the EEOC's Minneapolis office, said a former human resources worker blew the whistle on the company.

"This was a pretty straightforward case. We had explicit statements not to hire anyone over the age of 40 and women for these positions," Pladson said. "Fortunately, we don't see that a lot anymore."

In a statement, PMT said it settled the lawsuit to avoid further litigation and continues to deny the allegations.

Pladson said the EEOC is setting up a claims process for people shut out of the jobs.

"Through statistical analysis we determined that approximately 34 to 40 people should have been hired who would have been female or over the age of 40, had they considered solely the merits of their applications and not their gender or their age," he said.

Pladson said the agency will monitor the company for the next four years.