An important work related rule has just been approved by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) concerning age discrimination. The final rule to soon be published in the Federal Register prohibits any policy that would harm older workers more than younger workers unless such an action is based upon some reasonable factor other than age.
Such a rule merely formalizes what the United States Supreme Court had already decided in 2008 holding that employers must show a reason other than age when it comes to targeting older workers for employment layoffs. Though the EEOC rule will provide some measure of protection for the aging Indianapolis workforce, it is still to be seen how many layoffs will be justified by employers as being due to a “reasonable business decision.”
The policy behind so much federal legislation and the rules the EEOC have implemented concerns the treatment of certain classes different when it comes to employment disputes. If a separate class of individuals is subject to unfair treatment by its employer, employees do have the right to hire attorneys to help litigate such disputes in court.
The EEOC simply wants employers to prove that they are making business decisions based upon business reasons rather than personal and discriminatory factors. If one individual is able to do a job as good as another individual from a different age class, that first individual should not be punished simply for being older.
Especially since 2008 jobs have become extremely valuable for individuals, and no one should lose their occupation based on any arbitrary criteria. Eventually most of us will become older employees in the workforce. We should therefore treat other older workers like we would want to be treated when we reach their age.
Source: Business Insurance, “EEOC issues Age Discrimination in Employment Act rule,” by Judy Greenwald, March 29, 2012