Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)

Does a Mandatory Retirement Age Equal Discrimination?

Posted on November 1, 2017

The Situation: An employer has a policy that states that all employees must retire at the age of 65.  Is this age discrimination?…

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“But I Was Just Kidding!” Is That a Defense to a Discrimination Claim?

Posted on October 4, 2017

The Situation: During an industry-wide conference related to success strategies, a company executive is taking notes.  The notes include a page with the header “Attracting and Retaining employees,” and underneath, writes “Fire all the old people.”  The owner claims he was only kidding when he wrote this and was referring to a similar statement made in a joking manner by another company’s president.  Eight months later, a 77-year old employee is terminated. Can he bring a claim of age discrimination based upon these notes?…

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Is a Claim that an Applicant is Overqualified a Defense to an ADEA Claim?

Posted on July 19, 2017

The Situation: You are trying to fill an unskilled laborer position. One applicant for the position is a former employee with decades of experience in a position that involves more skill and higher pay. You end up deciding to hire another younger applicant, concluding that the former employee is overqualified and will not be satisfied in the position.  Can the older applicant bring a claim of age discrimination?…

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Is Telling Someone You Want to Maximize Longevity a Bad Idea?

Posted on May 24, 2017

The Situation: A 60 year old man applies to be a General Manager of a restaurant after spending over twenty years in the restaurant industry, a number of which were served in a managerial capacity. After interviewing the applicant over the phone, the hiring manager decides to bring him in for a face-to-face interview with the owner. The restaurant also asked him for some information for a background check and receives information about the applicant’s age. After a very brief face-to-face interview with the owner, the hiring manager informs the applicant that he isn’t going to get the job because the restaurant is really trying to maximize longevity. Is the restaurant looking at potential liability for an age discrimination claim?…

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Twelve Million Dollars to be Paid out by Restaurant Chain for Age Discrimination

Posted on April 5, 2017

The Situation: The EEOC took aim at Texas Roadhouse in 2011, claiming that the restaurant chain engaged in a pattern or practice of age discrimination by refusing to hire applicants over the age of 40. According to a press release issued by the EEOC, Texas Roadhouse has now agreed to pay a total of $12 million to an as-yet unidentified group of prospective employees, along with agreeing to take a number of corrective actions to ensure no further discrimination.…

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Routine Deletion of Video Records Could Cost You

Posted on April 13, 2016

The Situation: One of your employees gets into a physical altercation with a supervisor.  The employee and the supervisor point the finger at each other, each claiming the other started it.  Fortunately, you have video footage of the incident from surveillance cameras in the relevant area.  You review the footage and decide the employee is to blame. You fire the employee.  The employee then claims he was discriminated against because of his race when you fired him and not his supervisor. The problem is that the video was deleted as part of your routine information purging protocol.  Could this mean trouble?…

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Can Automated Response to Online Employment Application Show Knowledge of Age?

Posted on February 17, 2016

The Situation: You have an online application process. When a candidate submits his job application online, he automatically receives an email telling him that his application has been submitted, that you will review his background to determine if his qualifications meet with posting requirements, and that you will contact him if it does. You don’t hire a particular applicant and he claims that it was because of his age-pointing to the automated email as evidence that you had knowledge of his age (which would have been obvious based upon the information in his resume). Is this enough to assert a claim under the ADEA?…

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Applicants with more than five years of experience need not apply. Could this be a problem?

Posted on December 9, 2015

The Situation: You have a job vacancy—and it is one that you think best suits an applicant without a ton of experience. In an effort to narrow the field to just those candidates who fit the bill in terms of experience, you post the vacancy online and include as one of the qualifications that the applicant should have no more than a specified number of years of experience. Could this lead to a claim of age discrimination?…

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Even Age Difference of Eight Years Can Support ADEA Claim if Other Factors Present

Posted on September 25, 2015

As all employers are aware, employment decisions such as hiring, firing and promoting should not be made on the basis of an individual’s age. And one of the key components of a claim based on the denial of a promotion is that the individual who was promoted was substantially younger. So does this mean that if candidates are close enough in age, employers are safe from an age discrimination claim? Perhaps not.  Last month, the Ninth Circuit found that even a difference of eight years could be enough to support an ADEA claim where there was other evidence of age discrimination. France v. Johnson, No. 13-15534 (7th Cir. 2015).…

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Watch Out for Age-based Commentary

Posted on February 20, 2015

Is calling an employee “old man” discriminatory? It could be--just yesterday, the EEOC announced that Wal-Mart has agreed to pay $150,000 and provide other relief to a resolve an age and disability lawsuit filed by the EEOC on behalf of an employee. The EEOC charged that Wal-Mart discriminated against the employee by subjecting him to harassment, discriminatory treatment, and discharge because of his age and refused to provide a reasonable accommodation for his disability.…

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