How Employers Can Prevent Ageism in the Workplace
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.