Age Discrimination Could Land You in Hot Water and Cost Millions

Efforts to reduce costs often have many employers tempted to eliminate older workers. After-all, they are usually the ones who have been with the organization the longest and probably have the highest costs associated with their employment status (i.e. higher wages, higher health care costs, higher benefit costs, etc.). You might be thinking, surely today’s employers are smarter than that. However, a recent study showed that older workers experience discrimination more often, even in the hiring process. The report indicated that older job applicants, especially women, get fewer interviews than younger applicants. The report comes at a time when the proportion of Americans 65 and older is expected to swell and as seniors may need to work well into their golden years just to get by. Unfortunately, unless more is done to counter age discrimination, that may not be an option. Employers who attempt to get rid of older workers should beware. You could be setting up your library/organization for more costs than you are willing to pay—that being higher legal costs. This possibility became clear in a recent case where a jury awarded a former (older) employee $51 million as part of an age discrimination verdict.