In Employment, Age Should Not Be a Factor
In an economic downturn when a company makes decisions about laying off employees, a pattern of laying off people over 40 or 50 first, may be the sign of age discrimination.
When companies think with their calculators, it happens. Older workers who are often higher paid employees get laid off first. At Girardi | Keese, our employment law attorneys take employers to court to remind them of their obligations under the ADEA, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
The ADEA has made age discrimination against the law since 1967.
Age should not be a factor in laying off people, hiring people, awarding promotions or offering training opportunities. When people over 40 are denied employment opportunities at a higher rate than those under 40, employers may be engaging in age discrimination.
Employers often use the rationale that by laying off higher paid employees, they can make the fewest cuts with less effect on the bottom line. They base their rationale on the economy rather than on the law or any sense of fairness.
A bad economy does not change an employer's obligations.
When Girardi | Keese lawyers represent clients in age discrimination cases, we remind employers that the economy does not relieve them of their obligation to be fair and to obey the law.
Human resources decisions should be based on the worker's ability to do the job — not on age, gender, race or any other factor. Investigation looks for patterns of discrimination. When layoffs focus on people in their 50s and 60s, that pattern may be the basis of a civil action.
We welcome calls to discuss age discrimination issues in the workplace. Contact us for a consultation. Our law firm represents clients in California and nationwide.