The EEOC's recent ruling regarding the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, or ADEA, serves as a reminder to ensure that company practices do not have an adverse effect on employees aged 40 and over.
Enforced by the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC), the ADEA protects employees and job applicants aged 40 years and older from age discrimination in hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, or employment conditions.
Below are situations which could potentially violate ADEA:
- A hiring manager mainly targets college graduates for a new position. Since college graduates are primarily younger, this could create disparate impact against older applicants.
- John, age 65, has been with the company for 20 years. Because he is nearing retirement age, the company decides to promote his less-qualified younger co-worker instead.
- A company raises its hiring rate of pay to attract the newest ideas. Existing (and possibly older) employees are still paid the old, lower rate of pay for the same job duties, creating disparate impact.
- A company performs a reduction in force, laying off the highest-paid employees. Since the highest paid employees have likely been with the company the longest and are therefore older, this could have disparate impact on older workers.
- To prove he is physically and mentally capable of performing a task, a 50 year old employee must undergo testing that his younger counterpart is not subjected to.
For additional information, please visit the EEOC's information about ADEA, read Nextep's recent Compliance Alert regarding reasonable factors that may mitigate claims of age discrimination, or contact Nextep's HR Department.