Four EEOC-Approved Ways Your Company Can Prevent Age Discrimination at Work

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Jul 2, 2018

Ayo, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission just released a report on “The State of Age Discrimination and Older Workers in the U.S. 50 Years After the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).”

According to the EEOC press release, “[t]he report finds that age discrimination remains too common and too accepted as outdated assumptions about older workers and ability persist, even though today’s experienced workers are more diverse, better educated and working longer than previous generations.”

“Tell us something we don’t know, Eric.”

To do that, I’ll actually need to read the report. So , talk amongst yourselves.

Ok, done.

Now, how about I just cut to the chase and share some EEOC tips for reducing age discrimination in your workplace:

  • Include age in diversity and inclusion programs and efforts. More age diversity leads to better organizational performance, high productivity for older and younger employees, higher levels of employee satisfaction, and lower employee turnover.
  • Diversify your approach to hiring too. “Help Wanted” may seem outdated, but focusing on social media, especially those platforms that younger workers predominantly use, may not only hamstring older job seekers but could find you defending an age discrimination claim. When you do post jobs online, include age-diverse photos, graphics, and content that demonstrates a commitment to attracting a multi-generational workforce. And forget about asking for an applicant’s age. (Unless you need to confirm that someone is at least a certain age.)
  • Rethink your approach to interviewing applicants.Train interviewers as to how to frame age-neutral questions. Use a standard or structured process can help avoid age bias throughout the interview process. An age-diverse panel helps too, because studies and experience show that interviewers tend to favor job candidates who remind them of themselves.
  • Engage your older workers.The EEOC report emphasizes that “age is positively correlated with employee engagement, as workers age 50 and older have the highest levels of engagement in the workplace. And high employee engagement increases employee productivity.” Some ways to foster employee engagement include career counseling, training and development opportunities, mixed-age and reverse-age mentoring, and flexible work options that can provide work/life balance.

For more “Policy, Guidance and Resource Documents Related to Age Discrimination” go back a few words and click on the link.

And if you want to know how to cook and assemble your own Krabby Patty from Spongebob Squarepants, then, like me, you should be Binging with Babish.

This article originally appeared on The Employer Handbook blog.

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