Villarreal v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 15-10602 (11th Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. 623(a)(2), alleging that RJ Reynolds discriminated against him on the basis of his age when it rejected his application for employment. The court held that section 4(a)(2) of the ADEA authorizes disparate impact claims by applicants for employment even though the statute is unclear. The EEOC has reasonably and consistently interpreted the statute to cover such claims and the court deferred to the agency's reading of the statute. The court concluded that, in this case, plaintiff is entitled to equitable tolling of the ADEA's limitations period where plaintiff alleges that he could not have even suspected age discrimination until shortly before he filed his charge of discrimination. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded.