Author: Beth P. Zoller, XpertHR Legal Editor
Employers should be aware that age discrimination remains a significant issue in today's workplace. As a result, steps continue to be taken by both the EEOC and Congress to address and eliminate bias and unfair treatment against older workers that violates not only the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), but also similar state and local laws.
Employers should be aware that in the past year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has been diligent in its attempt to remedy age discrimination. The EEOC continues to bring a great number of age discrimination lawsuits aimed at eliminating unfair treatment based on age as well as recruiting and hiring policies that discriminate against older workers. Further, the EEOC recently implemented a rule making it more difficult for employers to prevail in an age discrimination case.
Age discrimination also remains an issue on the legislative level. In 2012, the US Senate reintroduced the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act (POWADA) (S. 2189) which would amend the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) as well as other federal employment discrimination laws (Title VII, the ADA etc.) +2012 Bill Tracking S. 2189. The proposed law clarifies the standard of proof in discrimination and retaliation lawsuits and essentially makes it easier for individuals to bring such claims.
As a result of these developments, employers should make sure to implement policies and practices aimed at preventing age discrimination in the workplace and effectively responding to complaints.
XpertHR has incorporated these requirements into our Employment Law Manual, provided a legal insights and a law report on these recent developments, and prepared additional guidance for employers with respect to age discrimination in the workplace.