Living in a college town, many residents of San Luis Obispo have to move in and out of their living situations almost every year.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is suing the San Luis Obispo location of Meathead Movers Incorporated, the largest independent moving company in California.
The San Luis Obispo moving company, Meathead Movers, has branded itself as a student-athlete-centered moving service.
According to their website, they only hire ”strong, clean-cut student-athletes from Cal Poly and Cuesta College.”
Nikki St. Germain, the Lead Outreach and Education Coordinator and Public Relations Manager for the EEOC said they want to make sure Meat Head Movers is not reinforcing stereotypes about who is and is not fit for certain jobs.
“That was really what we found in this case with Meathead is that they had this belief that young student-athletes were the individuals that they wanted to hire for these positions,” Germain said.
Germain said the moving company was not hiring older individuals.
An employee at Meathead Movers has asked to remain anonymous out of fear of repercussions from the company for speaking on the lawsuit.
“We don’t really see older people join honestly just because it is heavy work,” the Meathead Movers employee said.
The employee said they were recruited to work for Meathead Movers on Cal Poly’s campus.
“They just walk around, just hand out flyers without discrimination,” said the employee. “Just letting them know like, ‘Hey, we’re recruiting at this time.’ It’s the beginning of the year. Many people are looking for jobs and they just gave me a business card.”
German said a major part of this lawsuit revolved around Meathead Movers’ recruiting practices.
“When they were doing their recruitment practices, they were recruiting individuals, through either really saying, ‘We just want young student workers’ or through word of mouth,” Germain said. “By doing that, they’re chilling all these other individuals who may be experienced and able to do the job, from not only being hired but feeling like they can’t even apply for a position like that.”
According to an EEOC news release, the lawsuit charges that since at least 2017, Meathead Movers failed to hire applicants over the age of 40 for moving, packing and customer service positions.
Such alleged conduct violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which prohibits discrimination based on age.
“I don’t think this like suits people over the age of 40 – 50 just because it is very heavy work and I think that would be more like body damaging,” said the Meathead Movers employee. “Most of our workers here, we don’t really care like how old you are. As long as you just do your job and we just coach you through it.”
Meathead Movers declined Mustang News’ request for an interview but shared a statement that said, ”Meathead Movers takes the EEOC’s allegations of age discrimination very seriously. Our company is built on principles of fairness, respect and equal opportunity for our employees.”
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court of California near the end of September and is still in its beginning stages.