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Jun 11, 2024
Just Filed in Federal Court: Lawsuit Alleges Major Government Contractor Raytheon Discriminated Against Older Workers in Hiring

WASHINGTON—A major government contractor has intentionally discriminated against older jobseekers and harmed their employment prospects for years, according to a new class action lawsuit filed in a federal court in Boston by AARP Foundation, Peter Romer-Friedman Law PLLC, and Outten & Golden LLP. The complaint alleges that RTX Corporation (formerly Raytheon Technologies Corporation) (“Raytheon”), one of the world’s largest aerospace and defense companies, has refused to hire workers for many positions unless the applicants are recent graduates, which prevented the vast majority of qualified older applicants from obtaining or competing for those jobs and deterred many others from applying. 


The complaint alleges that Raytheon’s practices violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Act, and the Virginia Human Rights Act, and seeks relief for older workers denied or deterred from job opportunities since 2018.


According to the complaint, many Raytheon job ads have used targeted phrases such as “new college graduate,” “recent graduate,” or “new graduate” in position titles and/or job descriptions, which unlawfully indicated that Raytheon prefers to hire younger workers. Other positions have required that applicants with a college or graduate degree have less than 12 or 24 months of work experience, or have graduated recently within the last year or two. The complaint points to an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) finding that Raytheon violated the ADEA by telling applicants that certain jobs are limited to recent graduates.


“Americans are living and working longer than ever, yet unfair and discriminatory hiring practices are keeping older workers from jobs they’re qualified for,” said William Alvarado Rivera, Senior Vice President for Litigation at AARP Foundation. “Raytheon’s intentional discrimination against experienced job candidates, simply because of their age, is illegal and unacceptable.”


“Too many employers refuse to consider older workers for good jobs simply because they’re not recent graduates,” said Peter Romer-Friedman, a founder and principal of Peter Romer-Friedman Law PLLC. “By filing this civil rights lawsuit against Raytheon, we are putting all employers on notice that it’s time to end this unlawful practice and start respecting the rights of older workers.” 


“Fortune 500 companies should know better than to exclude hardworking older Americans from jobs by targeting ‘recent college graduates’ in hiring posts,” said Adam Klein, managing partner at Outten & Golden LLP. “The EEOC has long held that this type of language discourages qualified older workers from applying for jobs and may violate the ADEA. We hope this proposed class action sends a message to all employers that this form of discrimination against older workers has to stop.”


The plaintiff, Mark Goldstein, is 67 years old and one of the many older workers adversely impacted by Raytheon’s discriminatory hiring practices. He has been interested in working for Raytheon since 2019 and has the skills that Raytheon needs to address a years’ long labor shortage. Yet Raytheon never hired Goldstein for any of the many positions to which he applied, and never even offered him an interview, according to the complaint. 


Goldstein is not alone in this experience applying for jobs at Raytheon. In the complaint, Goldstein alleges that thousands of older workers have been harmed by Raytheon’s practices. In May 2023, Raytheon’s former global head of talent acquisition noted that roughly 25% of all new hires were new or recent college graduates, a share that has grown in recent years.


Goldstein previously filed a charge with the EEOC in 2019, leading to the EEOC’s 2021 determination that Goldstein was denied consideration for the roles he applied for because of his age. The EEOC also found that Raytheon’s job advertisements violated the ADEA by indicating a hiring preference for younger applicants. Despite these findings, Raytheon has continued to post jobs that discriminate against and deter older workers from applying, the suit says. 


Age discrimination continues to be pervasive in hiring across the country. According to AARP surveys, nearly one in six adults (14%) reported in 2023 that they were not hired for a job they applied for within the past two years because of their age. Half of job seekers (50%) reported that they were asked by an employer to provide their birth date during the application or interview process. About two in three adults ages 50-plus in the labor force (64%) think older workers face age discrimination in the workplace today. 


Read the full complaint.





About AARP Foundation

AARP Foundation works for and with vulnerable people over 50 to end senior poverty and reduce financial hardship by building economic opportunity. As a charitable affiliate of AARP, we serve AARP members and nonmembers alike. Through vigorous legal advocacy and evidence-based solutions, and by strengthening supportive community connections, we foster resilience, advance equity and restore hope. To learn more, visit or follow @AARPFoundation on social media.


About Peter Romer-Friedman Law PLLC

Peter Romer-Friedman Law PLLC is a public interest law firm that represents people, non-profits, and unions to advance social and economic justice in class actions and individual cases involving civil rights, employment, constitutional rights, consumer protection, and tech abuses. The firm’s lawyers have secured more than $1.4 billion of relief in class and individual actions and obtained novel legal precedents, groundbreaking settlements, and impactful reforms from corporations and governments. Its lawyers include the former General Counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a former labor counsel to Senator Edward M. Kennedy and the Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions. 


About Outten & Golden LLP

Outten & Golden LLP is the largest U.S. law firm dedicated to the representation of employees. With offices in New York City, Washington D.C. and San Francisco, the firm has taken on many of the country’s largest and most powerful employers, forging landmark settlements and historic verdicts that contribute to a more equitable workplace. As a mission-driven firm, O&G uses litigation and other means to expand the rights of all employees to fair wages and working conditions, and a workplace free of discrimination, harassment and retaliation. O&G also frequently litigates major civil rights matters, including the federal government’s discriminatory use of criminal background checks, the denial of consumer loans to DACA recipients, digital redlining and free speech suppression by major technology companies, and much more.

For further information: Madison Daniels,, 202-531-9026