While most every business owner will tell you that they don't discriminate based on age, many would be surprised to find the subtle signs of age discrimination happening right under their noses. The problem is that many of these behaviors and beliefs are so subtle that staff and management alike fail to recognize them as the discrimination that they are. Here are a few such instances that you should be attentive to.
Take a close look at your managers and their hiring and promotion practices. If there are any trends of younger employees being hired at higher compensation levels than older counterparts or younger staff receiving promotions over more qualified older workers, you may have a problem. Even if unintentional, things like this may put you at risk of a discrimination suit.
If your recent layoffs included more of your older workforce than the younger ones, that could also be cause for concern. Many times the older workers have been there longer, therefore their salaries save the company more money, which is why they are often the first to go. Despite that reasoning, if there is no balance in the workforce that is terminated, you may find your company the subject of a discrimination suit.
Preferential Trip Assignments
If managers are showing preferential treatment in travel assignments to the younger employees over the more seasoned older ones, that can be interpreted as age discrimination. This is particularly true if there are older employees who have previously traveled regularly but have been replaced by younger employees instead. The same applies to the distribution of perks and memberships.
Age-Related Assumptions And Comments
Sometimes the problem is less about what's being done and more about what's being said. For example, if your management staff regularly insinuates that older workers are out of touch with technology, need to learn "new tricks," or should be planning for retirement, those statements could be considered workplace discrimination as well.
Conveying a hiring message of looking for "fresh faces" or of wanting to add more energy to the company may give prospective applicants the wrong idea. If your management staff uses that information to filter out older applicants, that could leave you open to a potential age discrimination suit.
These are all situations that may lead to potentially dangerous prospects for your company. Many managers are misguided in the belief that these behaviors are acceptable, especially if they are older than the employee in question. The truth is, each of these situations could leave you in need of a workplace discrimination attorney such as those found at Law Offices of Jeffrey Needle.