Articles Posted in age discrimination

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, 29 USC 621, outlaws discrimination on the basis of one’s older age. When Congress passed the law, it acknowledged that older persons were disadvantaged by companies had commonly begun setting arbitrary age limits – regardless of the potential for job performance. age discrimination

This year marks 50 since the ADEA was passed, and still, age discrimination remains a common problem – even among those companies at the forefront of our technological advances. Social media companies in particular have been accused of perpetuating a culture of age discrimination.

Recently, Facebook was once again named a defendant in an age discrimination lawsuit, this one filed by a 52-year-old man who alleged that for two years, he was constantly the target of ageist jokes. Among the common themes of this constant humiliation were that older people were “creepy,” “don’t belong” at the organization and shouldn’t be employed by the firm because they “don’t relate.” One might characterize such statements as the ill-advised but isolated remarks of a few, but that argument starts to falter when you consider the highly-publicized comments made publicly by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg 10 years ago, who remarked that younger people are “just smarter.” Later, according to plaintiff’s lawsuit, a chart was displayed during a human resources presentation which showed workers in their 50s to be “low energy.”  Continue reading

Age discrimination is prohibited by the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which shields workers 40-and-older from suffering discrimination in any aspect of employment on the basis of older age. Disability discrimination violates the Americans With Disabilities Act, which protects workers from unfavorable treatment due to either a history of disability (i.e., cancer that is in remission or controlled) or a belief that one has a non-transitory physical or mental impairment (whether or not that belief is founded). employment attorney

Recently, an oil drilling company in Oklahoma was served with a complaint from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging the company violating both the ADEA and the ADA. The company allegedly refused to hire applicants who were either over 40 or who had a history of filing claims for benefits under workers’ compensation insurance.

The EEOC alleges the company used the information gleaned from applications for employment in order to carry out the discrimination. The employment lawsuit also seeks compensation for a specific applicant who was required to undergo a post-offer medical examination. Based on the findings of that examination, the company withdrew its job offer. Both the act of compelling the exam and withdrawing the job offer on the basis of that exam were unlawful, the EEOC asserts.  Continue reading

It’s been 50 years since federal lawmakers passed a law intended to protect workers from discrimination in employment on the basis of old age. oldwoman

But it would seem we still have a long way to go on this front.

A new study – one of the biggest ever on age discrimination – has revealed that in terms of hiring, the problem persists to this day and that it’s on the whole far worse for women than men.  Continue reading

A former employee of Lockheed Martin has just prevailed in his federal age discrimination lawsuit – to the tune of $51.5 million. It’s believed to be the largest-ever age discrimination verdict for an individual plaintiff.officebuilding

The 66-year-old plaintiff asserted that he was laid off five years ago for alleged staff cutbacks when in fact, his lawyers argued, the cuts were specifically instituted to slash older workers from the payrolls. The goal was to replace those older (i.e., costlier) workers and replace them with younger workers willing to work for lower salaries.

This kind of argument is based on an alleged pretextual claim. That is, the employer stated the adverse employment action (i.e., demotion, firing, lay-off, loss of benefits, refusal to hire, etc.) was due to one thing when in fact it was due to illegal discrimination. In this case, that alleged discrimination was on the grounds of the workers’ ages. The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 prohibits age discrimination of workers over the age of 40. Continue reading

Federal law prohibits age discrimination by employers. It protects people who are 40 and older from facing rejection from employment or the denial of certain employment-related benefits solely on the basis of their age.gavel

But recently, a federal appeals court considered whether it’s ageism to discriminate against people over-50 compared with those who are between 40 and 50? It’s a question that hadn’t before been raised in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit until Karlo v. Pittsburgh Glass Works, LLC.

According to court records, the complaint centers on alleged violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The workers who are named plaintiffs in the claim all worked for the defendant, which supplied materials to the auto industry. In 2008, when the industry started to tank, defendant engaged in numerous reductions in its workforce. The company ultimately fired about 100 salaried employees at some 40 locations/ divisions. The individual directors had a great deal of individual latitude in deciding who should stay and who should go. The company didn’t train directors in how to implement the reductions in force, and there were no written guidelines or policies. Plaintiffs in question were each let go and each was over the age of 50. Continue reading

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing reports that since 2012, there have been 90 age-related complaints filed against the 12 top technology companies in Silicon Valley. phone

This tells us two things:

  • Age discrimination is commonplace in the technology industry.
  • The graying workforce isn’t staying quiet about it.

Age discrimination lawsuits nationally are on the rise, as Baby Boomers are reaching and working beyond the age of 65. The New York Times detailed the fact that in 2015, there were 21,000 age discrimination complaints filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Only a small percentage of those actually go to court, and proving these claims at trial is often a challenge. That’s because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2009 that in cases of demotion or dismissal, workers have to prove that age was the motivating factor. That can be tough for a few reasons. One is that we’re often talking about colleagues who may have known each other for a long time and have worked together closely for years. The second is that there is not usually a so-called “smoking gun” that clearly shows age was the motivation. Continue reading

The AARP, a consumer advocacy group that focuses on the rights and well-being of older people, has filed a lawsuit alleging employee wellness programs may violate workers’ rights and be used to violate anti-age discrimination laws. exercise

Named as a defendant in the lawsuit is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) which recently released a new rule on employer wellness programs as they relate to Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

For those who may not be familiar, employee wellness programs involve companies extending major financial incentives to workers who sign up as an effort to improve their health, often through weight loss, smoking cessation and exercise programs. Workers save on health costs and companies get to help lower their long-term insurance premiums. The problem, says the AARP, is that a lot of the health-related programs and activities involve assessments of medically-sensitive information about workers, such as the results of biometric screening, which is then often passed on to the company.  Continue reading

A former engineer for Tesla Motors Inc. has sued the vehicle technology firm in a California federal court, asserting he was wrongly terminated for his age. As evidence, he cites a number of unfair criticisms and comments about his age from both co-worker and supervisors. office

The 69-year-old worker was a one-time contract employee who became full-time at the company’s facility in Fremond. Two of this three bosses reportedly made negative comments about his age. When he was fired in February, he alleges his age was a primary factor.

The employment lawsuit isn’t all that surprising. In fact, many technology companies in Silicon Valley have been facing down similar allegations. For example, IBM, Google, Twitter and Microsoft have all been defendants in California age discrimination lawsuits. Older workers say the companies disregard their valuable experience and instead bring in younger – and often more attractive and cheaper – workers.  Continue reading

The California age discrimination lawsuit against tech-giant Google may soon grow exponentially. A federal judge in San Jose recently approved the case’s collective action status. That means certain software engineers over the age of 40 rejected for Google jobs following an in-person interview over the last two years are now able to join the lawsuit. That could mean thousands of additional plaintiffs will be eligible to join the action. office woman

In an artful, 17-page opinion, Judge Beth Labson Freeman posed the question, “How does age factor into one’s Googleyness?” At the heart of the case, plaintiffs seek to expose Google’s hiring practice and larger corporate culture as one that puts a prime value on youth, and considers age a detriment (as opposed to an asset with the benefit of experience).

The age discrimination lawsuit was filed by two former job applicants who were both over 50 when they were turned down for positions at the firm. One woman, a programmer, was brought in for in-person interviews on four separate occasions, and rejected each time. The second plaintiff was interviewed by phone, but was not brought in for an in-person interview. Freeman imposed a limitation on the class of people to those who had an in-person interview. That still means thousands may potentially join this action. Continue reading

Age discrimination is something we’re going to be seeing a lot more of in the coming years, as older generations are working longer and in more highly specialized fields. As of 2016, nearly 20 percent of Americans over the age of 65 are working. Some do it because they want to continue their contributions. Others do it because they have no other choice. The traditional pension that workers traditionally leaned on to sustain them in their 60s and well into their 70s just isn’t an option for most workers anymore.computer1

And then there are those like JK Scheinberg, who detailed his recent confrontation with age discrimination. He’s a former software engineer at Apple who retired at age 54 after 20 years of working at the firm. In fact, he was credited with leading the effort that moved the Mac to Intel processors.

Scheinberg explained to a New York Times reporter recently how, feeling a bit restless in his retirement, he sought a job at the Apple Genius Bar. For those unfamiliar, this is where customers can take their Apple computers when they are having difficulties or glitches.