Eli Lilly settles age-bias suit

June 28, 2023

Eli Lilly will pay $2.4 million to settle a federal age-discrimination suit alleging that the company intentionally failed to hire older sales reps.

Back in September,  the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit against the drugmaker, claiming that during a town hall meeting in 2017, Lilly’s human resources senior VP Steve Fry said the company’s sales representative workforce “skewed toward the older generations” and then set a goal to make the workforce 40% “early career" workers. The filing alleges that the company discriminated in its hiring practices for reps from April 2017 to 2021.

Lilly does not admit any liability, but signed a consent decree filed on Monday in order to "avoid further cost of litigation."

Earlier this month, Novo Nordisk won a year-long EEOC age bias suit alleging the drugmaker had violated the law when it denied a transfer to a 62-year-old obesity care specialist.