Preventing Age Discrimination Claims
Older employees at some companies are continuously subjected to adverse employment actions and decisions based on stereotypes related to age.
According to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), it is against the law for businesses to make employment related decisions based on these stereotypes. For instance, a business letting an older employee go based on stereotypes relating to their competence, motivation, output or performance.
The ADEA protects all employees that are 40 years old and older from discrimination in all decisions made during the entirety of their employment, which could include hiring, pay, job responsibilities, termination, benefits and many other factors.
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), approximately 25% of all discrimination claims are related to age biases. Businesses can avoid becoming accused of age discrimination and getting entangled in expensive claims by following the below tips to help stop discrimination related to employees’ ages.
- Make Every Effort to Maintain a Diverse Workforce: Hiring managers often have a propensity to hire employees similar to themselves. However, this can be problematic in cases where it is evident that employees have not been hired based upon their qualifications. Employers should put various control mechanisms in place to make certain new hires are selected for good reasons. There is a huge difference between hiring someone based on facts versus assumptions.
- Avoid Potential Problems Regarding Job Descriptions: Employers have to be careful with the manner in which they describe skills required to fill a particular job. For instance, using words like “fresh-minded” or “young” in a job description. It is better to avoid describing what kind of person would fit the job. Instead give a detailed description of the job.
- Stay Away from Stereotypes: Never assume older employees will not be able to understand newer technologies or be able to keep up with industry trends. Bias training in addition to discrimination training can benefit in preventing ADEA claims.
- Have a Zero–Tolerance Policy: All employers should implement a zero-tolerance and anti-discrimination policy for their workplace. Specific guidelines and procedures should be in place. It is necessary for employees and managers alike to abide by these guidelines, and any variances should have strict consequences.
- Understand Retirement: Even if an employee is much older, never assume that they are ready to retire. Employees tend to stay at their jobs after the Social Security retirement age. Employers should not make any suggestions for employees to retire, or even ask questions regarding the employee’s plans for retirement.
Contact Our Elite West Palm Beach Law Firm
Our West Palm Beach employment & labor law lawyers can help you with prepare employment policies clearly defining age discrimination. Age related stereotypes are often ignored or overlooked, and could get your business in a lot of trouble.
Save your business from time consuming and expensive lawsuits by having our knowledgeable attorneys draft a zero-tolerance age discrimination policy. The last thing your company wants is to have an employee file an age discrimination claim.
In case a workplace age discrimination claim was already filed, we will do everything in our power to defend your business. Any claims regarding age discrimination, even common stereotypes should be taken seriously. The lawyers at Pincus & Currier LLP promise to you: honesty, availability and great legal service.
If you need our expertise call today at 561-868-1340 or contact us online to find out more about how our West Palm Beach labor & employment lawyers can help your business become age discrimination free.