According to a recent survey by the insurer Hiscox USA, 21% of American workers over 40 say they have suffered from age discrimination in the workplace. The age at which they are most likely to experience discrimination is 51, and men may suffer it slightly more than women.
Earlier this year, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) does not prohibit discrimination against older job seekers -- only existing employees. Although the Seventh Circuit only covers Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana, the ruling is final in those states unless the U.S. Supreme Court overturns it. Now, the AARP Foundation has asked the high court for a hearing on the matter.
Ever since the nonprofit newsroom ProPublica did an exposé last year, former IBM employees have wondered whether the company's recent global restructuring and layoffs were motivated in part by age discrimination. Now, a group of ex-workers has filed a federal lawsuit in an effort to break down two barriers IBM put in the way of age discrimination claims.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) was passed in 1967. A Labor Department report leading to its passage noted that, at the time, half of all job ads in the private sector explicitly barred applications from people 55 or over. A quarter excluded anyone over 45.
Can employers legally limit the ages of job prospects by recruiting only on college campuses? Can they cap the years of experience applicants are allowed to have? Can they set up social media recruitment campaigns that exclude older people? Or would taking active steps to minimize a job's visibility to workers over 40 violate the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)?
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits discrimination against workers 40 and over. While the law prohibits discrimination in any aspect of employment, including hiring, it is unclear whether the ADEA prohibits a certain type of discrimination called "disparate impact" discrimination in hiring. One federal court ruled that it does not. Now, a second federal court has ruled the opposite.
Recently, the independent, nonprofit investigative journalism newsroom ProPublica released a detailed analysis of massive personnel changes at IBM that it believes indicate age discrimination.
Establishing an effective workplace and strong culture starts at the top for any company. When managers and supervisors model correct behavior, it sets the tone for others to follow. As a result, companies can realize tangible benefits by properly training their managers and supervisors. Proper training of supervisors will include:
Companies in the tech industry have been faced accusations of age discrimination for years. Now, according to a recent lawsuit filing, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is investigating Google for its hiring practices, including allegations of age discrimination. This lawsuit was filed by Cheryl Fillekes, a 47-year old systems engineer who was turned down for employment by Google. Ms. Fillekes and other older workers who claim discrimination by Google are seeking certification as a class action.