Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd.
Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd.

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Appearance of age discrimination leads to complex litigation

Nevada employers should have the right to hire the workers who they feel are the best fit for the company, and for the specific job in question. However, there are federal discrimination guidelines that may apply to hiring practices which can affect what a hiring manager may look for on an application, and in an interview. It may be that an exhaustive list of preferred characteristics could be perceived as illegal if it seems as if these may block older workers from being chosen.

The back-and-forth outcomes of lawsuits in the court system seem to indicate that the federal law preventing age discrimination, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, is too vague to be fully effective. In one ongoing case, a company has been accused of manipulating call-backs on applications and interviews by requesting that hiring managers weed out those who have more experience, while favoring those who are recent college graduates.

While the court ruled in favor of the company, the plaintiff appealed and won. However, the company appealed that decision and won, and the case may now go before the U.S. Supreme Court. Lawmakers are currently considering ways to clarify the law to prevent further confusion. The changes could make it easier for companies to avoid litigation through carefully worded hiring policies that do not appear to favor candidates based on age or experience.

Having to settle a case involving age discrimination can be devastating on a company’s reputation, and its bottom line. Businesses that are facing this type of lawsuit may benefit from the advice of an experienced attorney.

Source: NPR, “Too Much Experience To Be Hired? Some Older Americans Face Age Bias,” Ina Jaffe, March 24, 2017

John P. Aldrich
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