Compliance is a critical and ever-evolving issue for employers. To stay
on the right side of the law, it’s in your company’s best
interests to work with an employment lawyer in San Jose, CA. He or she
can provide you with the employment law advice your company needs to
prevent age discrimination in the workplace.
Working with Your Lawyer
One of the first topics your employment lawyer should cover is the law.
Federal anti-discrimination laws protect employees from discrimination
based on specific classes, such as one’s age. However, there are
also state laws that you should be aware of. Your lawyer will discuss
how they apply to your company. He or she will review your current policies,
if any, and examine any problems that you may have encountered in the past.
Hiring New Employees
Pay particular attention to your company’s hiring practices. Your
employment law attorney will inform you that it is not unlawful to request
an applicant’s date of birth. However, doing so may set the stage
for an age discrimination complaint. Consider removing this question from
the job application.
Age discrimination complaints can arise when younger employees are promoted
ahead of older employees. Your employment lawyer can help you develop
written policies that guide the distribution of promotions and raises
based solely on merit. Similarly, employees should have access to educational
and training opportunities regardless of age, although you may choose
to limit certain training opportunities to certain positions in the company
based on the type of work these employees perform. For example, your sales
sector may have access to a marketing seminar that wouldn’t be of
value to your tech support sector.
Reducing the Workforce
Unlawful termination is a common basis for claims against employers. If
your company must initiate layoffs, talk to your employment lawyer ahead
of time. You can protect your company from legal liability by conducting
layoffs based on the number of years employees have worked for the company,
rather than their age.