Moving Company That Hired Students Sued for Age Discrimination

By: Ben Campbell | Published: Dec 20, 2023

A popular California-based removal company that boasts of its young and strong employees on social media is now being sued by the federal government.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed a lawsuit against Meathead Movers, claiming they have violated age discrimination laws by not hiring older workers.

Young and Buff Student Athletes

Since its founding back in 1997, the Fresno-based removal has had a steady flow of student-athletes as employees.

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Young college students stops to have a snack after a workout

Source: Freepik

Its social media posts are full of young and buff employees pictured lifting furniture, large boxes, and even weights.

Meat Head Olympics

Each year, the employees, known to their social media viewers as “Meat heads,” face off in a selection of challenges deemed the Meathead Olympics.

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Employees of meathead movers are pictured on the streets beside one of their moving trucks

Source: @Meatheadmovers/Instagram

When the employees are on the job, they’re expected to run from the moving truck back to the home if they’re empty-handed, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Out to Support the Students in any way they Can

Meathead Movers has been under fire following the accusations brought against them by the federal government, yet a spokesperson claims they were only trying to help students.

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Three Meathead Movers employees are pictured after completing another job

Source: @Meatheadmovers/Instagram

On the company website, it explains the “founding principle is to support athletes working in pursuit of their dream career path, and that will never change.“

Executives Deny the Claims Brought Against the Company

The company’s owner, Aaron Steed, and the executives have denied the accusations brought against them, claiming they didn’t hire older workers as the job is simply too physically demanding.

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Two home removal workers stack heavy boxes into the back of a truck

Source: Freepik

“We are 100% open to hiring anyone at any age if they can do the job,” said Steed. “People love working at Meathead, or they are turned off by how hard it is. You have to move furniture and run to get more.”

EEOC Doesn’t Buy the Excuses of Meathead Movers

Charlotte Burrows, who sits as the head of the EEOC, alleges that Meathead Movers uses specific hiring and marketing practices that discourage older workers from applying.

Three federal agency employees share notes as they sit at a white desk

Source: Freepik

The agency claims current employees are asked to scout their local gyms, training centers, and colleges for potential hires.

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Long-term Investigation into the Company

Meathead Movers has been under the watchful eye of EEOC since 2017. However, the more recent complaints are the ones that finally warranted a lawsuit.

Lawyer writes notes on a sheet of paper at his desk

Source: Freepik

In the last year, the company has received a staggering 70,000 complaints and filed 91 employment discrimination lawsuits, according to the NY Post.

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Emails Reveal Meathead Movers Plan to Settle

The two sides previously tried to negotiate a settlement, yet the agency demanded $15 million, which was denied. It later lowered the amount to $5 million, according to internal emails that were leaked.

Man holds a large sum of cash and works on a calculator

Source: Freepik

Meathead Movers eventually came back and offered $750,000 as a settlement fee.

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Meathead Movers Unaware They Committed a Crime

Speaking during an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Steed admits he was shocked to find out his company had committed any form of age discrimination.

A group of people smile as they’ve just finished packing the last box to be moved

Source: Freepik

“We had no idea we were doing anything wrong by being a moving company that hires a lot of student-athletes,” said Steed.

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The End of a Thriving Business?

The EEOC demanded an exorbitant amount of money from Meathead Movers, so much that Steed admits it would have forced them to close the doors for good.

Closed sign hangs on the window of a business that recently closed for good

Source: Freepik

Speaking in the interview with WSJ, the owner of the company explained, “We want to change and evolve, but we can’t agree to go out of business doing it.”

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Only the Beginning of Trouble

The clash between Meathead Movers and the EEOC may be the beginning of litigation against other companies trying to recruit younger workers. This may prompt other companies to rebrand to avoid being targeted.

Two removal employees pass boxes to one another before stacking them on a trolley

Source: Freepik

Another removal company known as “Hunks” has already explained to the press that their name stands for “Honest. Uniformed. Nice. Knowledgeable. Service” and has nothing to do with “targeting a college audience.”

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The Agency Plans to Ensure Discrimination Comes to an End

Burrows, who was appointed to head of the EEOC by President Biden, shared a message with the public in May during Older Americans Month.

An older American employee poses for a photo inside a warehouse

Source: Freepik

She claims the federal agency will redouble its efforts to address the various challenges being brought against older Americans in the workforce nationwide.

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