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EEOC Age Discrimination Defense for Employers

Federal law prohibits employment discrimination of individuals who are 40 years of age or older. This legislation was established by Congress in 1967 because of concern that older workers would be at a disadvantage in finding and keeping work in comparison to younger workers. Examples of this law can be seen in circumstances where a company has to lay off employees; it's required to be a fair process and not single out any one age group. There must be a reasonable factor other than age (RFOA) meaning there must be a non-age factor that is sensible and objective by the employer letting the employee go. 

RFOA Factors

When a court is deciding if an employer's policy is considered an RFOA they look at a few factors including:

  • Is the factor related to their stated business purpose
  • If the management received proper training on how to avoid age discrimination
  • If management was objective and or subject to stereotypes based on age
  • If management fairly assessed its daily practices to accommodate all age groups
  • If there are practices that singled out or harmed older workers, and if the employer took steps to reduce that harm

What Are Some Suggested Procedures?

Some suggest that companies review their procedures to be sure they have practices and procedures in place to strengthen their RFOA defense in a court situation. Some of the following could apply:

  • Define your business purpose with RFOA in mind
  • Define nonage factors that can achieve the company objective is a fair and precise way
  • Provide and document training to managers and supervisors to avoid discrimination
  • Limit your supervisors from subjective assessments
  • Assess the risk involved to your older employees
  • Create policies that will restrict the risk of your older employees
  • Document and retain records regarding all decisions about your older employees

Contact A Tulsa Employment Lawyer Today

An employee who is 40 years or older is not immune from being disciplined or terminated. If you feel that your employer has discriminated against you because of any of the reasons listed above, you may have a case. At Frasier, Frasier, and Hickman, we can review the actions to see if the court will see them as discriminatory actions against you and your employment. If you're in this situation, we can help. Call us at 918-779-3658 or contact our Tulsa office online.

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