Naperville Business Law Attorney Discusses Age Discrimination in Employment

age, Naperville business law attorneyAs a business law attorney, I know that it is important for business owners to hire the right people to help meet their company’s goals. In doing so, however, they must be sure to follow all of the applicable local, state, and federal laws that define and prohibit employment-discrimination. While the most talked-about forms of such discrimination tend to be related to an employee’s or applicant’s gender, race, and religion, age discrimination is also a serious concern in today’s labor market.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects employees over the age of 39 from discrimination on the basis of their age with regard to employment termination, hiring decisions, promotions or other employment privileges, financial compensation, and other terms and conditions of employment. Unfortunately, not every business abides by this law. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received 20,857 claims of illegal age discrimination in 2016.

Workers Cite Stereotypes as One Cause of Age Discrimination

A study conducted by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) found that about 16 percent of employees say employers treat them worse on the job simply due to their age. Some employees say that assumptions about older worker’s capabilities, especially technological capabilities, are the cause of much of the problem.

The technological advances that the United States has enjoyed over the past thirty years are nothing less than astounding. Many younger employees had the advantage of growing up using technologies such as smartphones and computers while older generations had to learn to adapt to these technologies as adults. Some employers are hesitant to hire older workers because they assume the person will not be efficient on a computer, and hiring supervisors, in some cases, will automatically throw out all applications from applicants over a certain age.

Employers may not realize it, but basing a hiring decision on such an assumption is just as illegal as making an assumption about a person’s intelligence exclusively due to their race. Many older individuals are just as capable of navigating complex technologies as younger employees are. To exclude older applicants from the chance to work a certain job because of age alone is not only unethical but also against the law.

A Knowledgeable Employment Law Attorney Can Help Your Business Stay Compliant

If a court of law finds that an employer has violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the employer may be ordered to pay the employee back pay and compensation for future earnings lost as well as other penalties and associated court costs. Furthermore, the reputation of a business which has been found guilty of age discrimination is often irreversibly damaged.

If you are a small business owner and have further questions about discrimination, hiring practices, or any other business law matter, the experienced Naperville business law attorneys at The Gierach Law Firm are ready to help. To schedule a confidential consultation, call (630) 756-1160 today.



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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission