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Avoiding age discrimination in the workplace

by | Jun 16, 2022 | Business Law

Employers have to be diligent about keeping discrimination out of their workplace. Age discrimination is one area that requires attention, especially when it comes to hiring, promotions and discharges.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission explains that any employment situation where the age of an applicant or employee is a consideration instead of skills and other work-related details represents age discrimination. Employers must work to remove policies and procedures that could introduce discrimination based on age.

40 or older

Age discrimination policies should focus on people age 40 or older who have coverage under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. The majority of protection will be for these older workers. Although, employers should strive to not allow age as a basis for decisions regardless of youth.

Bad practices

Business News Daily explains there are some common business practices that can introduce age discrimination into the workplace. For example, employers should never ask an employee’s age or questions that could expose a person’s age when making hiring, promotion or discharge decisions.

Employers should also avoid quotas. This will not help to diversify the age groups in the workforce. It can lead to discrimination, though.

A better approach is to consciously focus on the benefits people of all ages bring to the workplace. By understanding that everyone has value as an employee regardless of age, it creates a more inclusive workplace where discrimination does not occur.

Employers must ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to age. There is no room in business to focus on how old someone is when making decisions, and doing so is blatant discrimination.