Making sure your California-based company is abiding by all government rules and regulations at all times can be a daunting task. Even though you are doing your best, disgruntled current, former and hopeful employees may still find ways to blame your business for their losses. Age discrimination is a great example right now. Numerous companies have been in the news over the last few years with employees claiming that their age caused them to lose their jobs, not get a job or promotion, or that it forced them to put up with harassment in the workplace.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, it is not legal for any employer to discriminate based on a person's age or to allow staff members to continually harass fellow staff members because they are considered too old to work there.
Years ago, Congress enacted the Age Discrimination Employment Act, which the EEOC enforced. This act protects individuals in their 40s or older from workplace discrimination. Common examples of age discrimination are:
- Refusing to offer employment
- Terminating early
- Failure to pay a fair wage
- Refusal of promotions or job assignments
- Offering subpar benefits
The list can go on and on. None of it is okay.
Taking action and protecting your company
If an employee approaches you or another person of authority regarding age discrimination, taking the complaint seriously matters. Some employers who end up sweeping the problem under the rug find themselves hurting in the long run. By investigating the claim, it will be possible to determine if there is any validity to it. By taking action, looking into it and addressing any valid concerns, you are protecting your company and may be able to ward off legal claims.
If a person brings age discrimination claims against your company, you have two ways to deal with them. You can either deny and let the case go to trial, or you can try and settle the matter privately. Many of these cases do not end up going to trial. At the end of the day, you have to decide what you feel is best for your business.
If you are not sure how to handle an age discrimination claim, it is okay. it is not a problem you have to address alone. An employment law attorney can review the details of your case, investigate the matter and help you decide the best course of action.