The undefined nature of age discrimination at work

| Nov 5, 2019 | Age Discrimination |

Companies in Colorado know that there are several employment laws to which they must adhere. These laws are in place to protect individuals and facilitate the development of healthy, positive and productive work environments by respecting the rights of all employees. In today’s workplace, there can be a wide range of ages and generations represented. This may provide benefits but can also be a challenge for an employer trying to balance the needs of so many groups along with the needs of their business.

As explained by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, it is expressly illegal to discriminate against a worker over the age of 40 solely on the basis of their age per the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. This means that decisions related to compensation, job responsibilities, working hours, hiring, firing, layoffs and more should not be made because of a person’s age.

Despite this law, many employees assert that age discrimination is alive and well in the workplace. This alleged discrimination may sometimes be subtle and even the employees who allege that they have been impacted by age discrimination say that it is very difficult to prove.

Glassdoor indicates that one situation commonly touted as an example of age discrimination is when an employer lays off a seasoned worker and later hires a person newer in their career at a lower salary. The reality here is that such a decision may truly be made based on the financial needs of a company, not the age of a worker, yet the line here can be thin and contribute to some disputes.