Four ways to protect your business from age discrimination claims

Four ways to protect your business from age discrimination claims

On Behalf of | Jan 9, 2024 | Employment Law - Employer

While some workplace discrimination is intentional and should be immediately stopped, other forms are unintentional, such as when an implemented policy or practice disproportionately impacts a protected class of workers. This, of course, doesn’t make the discrimination okay. It does mean, however, that you, as an employer, need to be on your toes and scrutinize your practices to ensure that you’re not making mistakes that could haunt you in the form of a workplace discrimination claim.

Yet, this often happens in cases of age discrimination. These claims can be brought by anyone as young as 40 years old, so you need to ensure that you have preventative measures in place that will protect you from allegations of ageism. But how do you do that?

How employers can protect themselves from allegations of age discrimination

There are a lot of misconceptions out there about older workers. You don’t want to buy into those preconceived notions, as they could cause you to lose out on skilled talent, and it could land you on the receiving end of aga discrimination allegations. Here are some things that you’ll want to watch out for to ensure that you’re protecting your company as much as possible from these accusations:

  • Word choice: Your spoken and written words matter. If you use phrases like “technologically challenged,” “digitally naïve,” or “overqualified,” then you may be giving a signal that you don’t want older workers. Likewise, indicating that someone isn’t a good fit for your workplace culture can be problematic if your workforce tends to be younger and the applicant you’re passing on is older.
  • Consistent discipline: Disciplinary issues, when mishandled, can land you in legal hot water. That’s why you must be consistent in disciplining your workers. While that holds true for how you discipline an older worker, it’s also important to keep it in mind when other workers make discriminatory comments about an older worker. You need to nip that behavior in the bud, otherwise it’ll look like you’re condoning it, which will support an age discrimination claim against you.
  • Education and training: We all have biases. You can curtail their effects by educating yourself and being cognizant of them in your work. These are important strategies to share with your workforce, too. By providing education and training on bias and age discrimination, you can curtail instances of discrimination and create a record that you take the matter seriously and have tried to prevent.
  • Diversity: Whether through marketing or recruitment practices, you want to highlight the diversity of your workforce. If you don’t, then you might unintentionally give the perception that older workers aren’t welcome. Therefore, it’s helpful to have promotional videos, online ads, and testimonials that show that your business has a multigenerational workforce that’s accepting and welcoming to all.

Are you facing legal issues related to age discrimination?

If so, now is the time to find the best way to protect your business. It might be a messy fight that you don’t want to engage in, but it’s necessary to safeguard your business’s reputation and financial stability.

With so much on the line, you should build the strong employment law defense you need. Although that might sound overwhelming, you can find the resources you need to effectively build a strong defense under your circumstances.