Articles tagged 'age discrimination'

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Appeals Court Foils the Age Discrimination Claims of “Superman”

Superman Man of Steel superhero

By Eric B. Meyer

General Zod is not impressed.

Carlyn Johnson was diligent and hard-working. As a security guard, he had a reputation of never refusing an extra shift. Indeed, his  dependability earned him the nickname, “Superman.”

Notwithstanding Mr. Johnson’s willingness to work, a field service manager expressed concern about Johnson’s ability to work long hours. This field service manager told both Johnson and Johnson’s wife that Johnson was “too old” to be working and it was “time to hang up [Johnson's] Superman cape and retire.” Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Study Shows That Older Workers Face “Subtle Bias” in the Workplace


By Eric B. Meyer

Under federal law, the bar is set higher for proving age discrimination, as opposed to other forms of unlawful discrimination based on protected classes such as race, gender, or disability.

While difficult to prove, a recent article from The New York Times suggests that age discrimination in the workplace may be more common than we realize.

In this week’s The New York Times, Michael Winerip wrote this article focusing on a Princeton study in which test subjects were shown a video of a white male named “Max.” Some viewed a compliant Max. Other saw footage of an assertive Max. The test subjects were then asked to give their opinion about Max. Read more…

Legal Issues, Talent Management

We Need the Young to Help Eliminate Age Discrimination in the Workplace

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Discrimination has been with us for a long, long time, based on one characteristic or another that allows one group to identify another as less worthy, less intelligent, less skilled and on and on regardless of the time and place.

Whether it’s based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender or one of a hundred other variables, we’ve always found ways to stereotype our fellow humans.

For centuries, seeing “the other” as in some way undeserving was an acceptable attitude. It’s only recently that we’ve taken the trouble to look at discrimination as a problem, not a solution. Read more…

Legal Issues

Employee Claims Age Discrimination, Says He Got “Office Space” Treatment

Office Space - Milton

By Eric B. Meyer

If the movie Office Space has taught me anything, it’s to wear 37 pieces of flair to work — do more than the bare minimum — and to use a cover sheet with my TPS reports.

And never mess with a man’s stapler. That too. Especially when you’re also moving the man’s desk four times and sending him to the basement. Because that could be age discrimination.

No, seriously. I was reading this decision from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. It involves claim of age discrimination where, the over-40 plaintiff claimed that he was “functionally replaced” by an employee who was substantially younger than he. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

“Younger People Are the Future” Comment Caused an Age Bias Claim

123RF Stock Photos

By Eric B. Meyer

Hey employers!

Want to guarantee yourself a jury trial in an age-discrimination case? Just mention the word “younger” to any employee age forty or above right around the time you fire him.

In Brazil v. Volkert, Inc., the plaintiff claimed that, just before he was terminated, one of the Assistant Vice Presidents told him, “Younger people are the future of the company.” The company admitted that this comment was made, but claimed that it fired the plaintiff because work had dried up and the plaintiff refused a transfer. Read more…

Classic TLNT

The Great Workplace Challenge: How to Make Better Use of Older Workers


Editor’s note: Sometimes, readers ask about past TLNT articles that they have heard about but may have missed. That’s why every Friday we’re republishing a Classic TLNT post that some of you have asked about.

By Peter Cappelli and Bill Novelli

Why is it that we have such a hard time continuing to find work as we grow older, especially as employers complain about not being able to find workers with the right attitudes, who have the skills to “hit the group running,” and who can make immediate contributions?

One would think employers would be falling over themselves to retain older employees, to let them keep working in more flexible ways, and to hire other older workers. But they are not. Read more…

HR Basics, Legal Issues

Employment Law Basics: ADEA and the Dangers of Age Discrimination


Employment laws can be confusing and downright scary.

They don’t have to be. As a public service, from now until my special Halloween webinar Answers to the World’s Scariest Employment Law Questions, I’ll be tackling each major law one by one to give you what you REALLY need to know. By the end, you’ll have handy one-page cheat sheets for each and every law and your terror level will be reduced to zero.

Today’s Topic: Age Discrimination. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

EEOC Issues Final Regulations on Reasonable Factors Other Than Age


By Eric B. Meyer

Last month, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its “Final Regulation on Disparate Impact and Reasonable Factors Other than Age” (RFOA) under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA).

Wait, wha, wha, what the heck is an RFOA? (Here’s the Cliff Notes version because, like, you could click on the link above, dudes.)

Here’s what the EEOC had to say about the new rule in this press release: Read more…

HR News & Trends

Weekly Wrap: It’s a Age-Old Question – Would You Hire Meryl Streep?

Meryl Streep

Let me be honest about this: I’m an older guy (hard to admit that), but I’m not delusional. I know better than anyone that in today’s economy, if I were to lose my job tomorrow, my chances of finding another one at or near my same salary level are virtually nil.

There are a lot of reasons for that, but I think the main one is that businesses and hiring managers just don’t put much value in experience and wisdom anymore — especially if it comes with a price tag commensurate with the years it takes to acquire it.

Not all that long ago, I applied to a job posting that wanted very specific experience that not too many people have, although I did. Problem was, they didn’t want to pay very much for that experience. Read more…

Legal Issues

This Is Why HR Should Document Employee Issues in a Timely Manner

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Last week, a federal appellate court allowed a white assistant manager to pursue claims of reverse race discrimination against a bank because the reasons that the bank offered to the court for firing the plaintiff did not jibe with the documentation in its own file. Oh, wait a minute, there was zero documentation in the file.

I smell some trouble for the employer and some good lessons for my business readers.

How does one prove reverse-race discrimination? Read more…